Why Southwest Flights Are Canceled and Delayed
More than 2,000 flights from the southwest have been canceled in the past few days, frustrating customers and sparking theories on social media. The problems started last Friday, with the airline attribute mass changes to severe weather and air traffic control issues, which the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) then went on to confirmed in part.
Additionally, the FAA tweeted that “military training, limited personnel in an area of central en route to Jacksonville” may also be contributing factors to Friday’s delays and cancellations, and “some airlines continue to experience scheduling problems due to planes and crews being out of place. “
But while the FAA insists complications on its side were resolved before the weekend as the Southwest continued to struggle, canceling more than 1,800 flights on Saturday and Sunday. According to New York Times, which was over 28 percent of its planned schedule. The Associated press reported that hundreds more were canceled on Monday and nearly 40 percent of those that remained on schedule were delayed.
This is the second time in less than four months that Southwest has found itself immobilizing a significant portion of its planes. In June, the airline suffered two system-wide computer failures that disrupted more than 1,700 flights. The Times said Southwest’s new chief executive Robert Jordan also highlighted the loss of “thousands of employees” throughout the pandemic as another of the factors contributing to these cancellations. The labor shortage in this sector of the transportation industry has intensified since the start of the summer, as Americans resumed travel, and many airports across the country as well as several major airlines have all felt the pressure, Vox reported in June.
The timing of this latest round of cancellations has drawn special attention on social media, as they began after the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) asked a federal court to block the COVID-19 vaccination mandate of the airline company.
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“We want to be perfectly clear: SWAPA is not anti-vaccination, but we believe that in all circumstances it is our role to represent the health and safety of our pilots and to voice their concerns to the company, “said the pilots’ union. in a press release announcing their intentions. He also described the lawsuits in an ongoing federal lawsuit that SWAPA brought against Southwest in August for allegedly violating labor laws by failing to negotiate with the union before making changes that have impact on operations and worker benefits.
The court appearance and cancellations led many to speculate that the two could be related, and an unfounded theory of a coordinated pilot ‘work stoppage’ gained traction after being amplified by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ron johnson (R-WI) on Twitter. However, the FAA, SWAPA, and Southwest have all pushed back on this idea.
“To be clear: none of the information from Southwest, its pilots union or the FAA indicates that this weekend’s cancellations were related to vaccination warrants,” the FAA tweeted on Monday.
[Related: COVID-19 continues to make flying a risky proposition]
SWAPA Chairman Casey Murray blamed Southwest, calling consecutive days of cancellations an “operational collapse” and saying the airline’s operations have become “fragile and prone to massive failures under the watchful eye. less pressure “.
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“There are false allegations of work actions by Southwest Pilots that are currently gaining traction on social media and making their way into mainstream news. I can say with certainty that there is no work slowdown or work stoppage related to the recent mandate for compulsory vaccination or whatever, ”Murray said in a statement, noting that the union is not authorized to take such action.
Monday, South West tweeted that he was working to “stabilize” operations and expected to “return to normal service” this week. However, a tweet Tuesday from reporter Jason Dinant told a different story, showing a long line outside Las Vegas McCarran International Airport for Southwest customers.
In the responses, Southwest apologized for long queues and inconvenience. While the airline’s website warns of long wait times for customer service assistance calls, the airline is helping individual customers who tagged them on Twitter to change the reservation or refund their fees. flights.