Here is a post of a WN DEN-TPA flight that turned back around to TPA instead of diverting to OKC, TUL, or another WN station closer to Oklahoma such as AUS, DAL, HOU, LIT, or BHM:https://twitter.com/xJonNYC/status/160664736845947289
I am unsure why WN would have sent the flight all the way back to TPA instead of diverting to OKC, TUL, DAL, AUS, HOU, LIT, or BHM. WN also would have likely been able to re-accommodate some of the connecting passengers if WN had diverted the DEN-TPA flight to AUS, DAL, or HOU if the WN nonstop flights out of AUS/DAL/HOU to LAS/PHX/SLC/California weren't already completely full.
By returning the flight to TPA, they guarantee they don't have to reaccommodate every single passenger on the plane.
Those passengers from Tampa, they just go home, WN doesn't need to accommodate for hotels and such.
For those visiting Tampa and trying to get out, hopefully they have family or friends to stay with another night.
The only passengers WN would have to accommodate is the passengers who connected in TPA.
Assuming they were eligible for hotels to begin with.
By diverting to a station no one wanted to be in, WN now has to accommodate for the entire aircraft. It sucks but sending them back to TPA was the right decision.
You also explained it earlier, the days before Christmas and you expect them to accommodate on other open seats on flights out of OKC, TUL DAL etc etc?" if the WN nonstop flights out of AUS/DAL/HOU to LAS/PHX/SLC/California weren't already completely full."
Can almost be sure they were all full to begin with.
WHAT Open seats?!?!
TPA was the right decision.