Tuesday October 12, 2021

// October 12th, 2021 // Daily News

Southwest is LYING; the cancellations were due to a walkout over the vaccine mandates

Southwest Airlines reduces cancellations after chaos sparked traveler outrage

  • Southwest apologized to customers for the chaos that has disrupted travel since Saturday.
  • The airline said bad weather and air traffic control issues initiated the problems that were worsened by its own staffing shortfall.
  • Southwest had struggled with insufficient staffing over the summer to meet a packed schedule.

Travelers wait to check in at the Southwest Airlines ticketing counter at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on October 11, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.Kevin Dietsch | Getty Ima

Southwest Airlines canceled 87 flights, or 2% of its schedule, on Tuesday, a sign the carrier is stabilizing its operation after chaos over the weekend disrupted the travel plans of tens of thousands of customers.

The Dallas-based airline since Saturday has canceled close to 2,400 flights, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware, blaming several factors including its own staffing shortfall, particularly with backup pilots and flight attendants to step in when things go wrong.

The disruptions peaked at more than 1,100 cancellations on Sunday, as about 30% of Southwest’s flights were canceled as the carrier attempted its biggest schedule since April 2020.

“Southwest Airlines extends a tremendous apology to our Customers and Employees for the flight cancellations and delays which occurred over the weekend and on Monday,” the airline said in a statement on its website Tuesday.

The carrier said bad weather and air traffic control issues in Florida kicked off its problems, leading to planes and crews being out of place and snowballing into hundreds of cancellations.

Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, which represents the carrier’s more than 9,000 pilots, told CNBC that the airline’s poor planning was to blame for the issues. The airline has already scaled back its fall schedule due to disruptions throughout the summer following complaints from exhausted crews.

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