Canceled Southwest Flights Disrupt Florida Travel
Thousands of canceled Southwest flights disrupted this weekend’s travel, even to Florida. Southwest Airlines blamed air traffic control (ATC) and weather for the cancellations, even though no other airline company reported problems.
Florida Travel Disrupted
More than 1,000 flights were canceled on Sunday, and more than 800 flights were canceled on Saturday. Therefore, that is approximately 27 percent of flights on Sunday and 24 percent on Saturday, according to FlightAware.
On Saturday, Southwest Airlines blamed the issues on ATC and the weather. They stated, “We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affect customers, and customer service wait times are longer than usual.”
Passengers for @SouthwestAir lining up at @MCO for service after about half the carrier’s flights have been canceled. Airline blames ATC problems and weather for the problems. #FOX35 pic.twitter.com/g80RCy7Pyt
— Matt Trezza FOX 35 (@Fox35Matt) October 10, 2021
The Federal Aviation Administration announced a brief air traffic staffing shortage but resolved the issue. They stated, “Flight delays and cancellations occurred…due to widespread severe weather, military training, and limited staffing…Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place.”
However, it seemed like only Southwest Airlines canceled flights. American Airlines had the second-highest amount of cancellations on Sunday. These cancellations affected fewer than 65 flights, about 2 percent of those scheduled through American Airlines.
— lee mcmurray (@HotOffload) October 9, 2021
On the other hand, many are questioning Southwest Airlines’ weekend cancellations. Southwest’s pilots’ union denounced the rumors that the cancellations were due to a pilot protest over Covid vaccination requirements.
— Leland Vittert (@LelandVittert) October 10, 2021
The union stated that its members “will continue to overcome poor planning.” Also, the union said that Southwest pilots “always maintain the highest level of responsibility to their crews, their passengers, and our airline.”
Covid-19 Vaccination Mandates
Last week, Southwest Airlines joined several competitors by requiring employees to become vaccinated by December 8, 2021. This is necessary to continue business due to President Biden’s order for all large federal contractors to require vaccinations.
Southwest Airlines’ chief executive, Gary Kelly, stated, “Southwest Airlines must join our industry peers in complying with the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination directive. I encourage all Southwest employees to meet the federal directive, as quickly as possible, since we value every individual and want to ensure job security for all.”
The pilots’ union does believe, however, that the new mandate may create labor shortages and flight disruptions. Also, the union is suing Southwest Airlines for “unilateral actions,” such as requiring vaccinations.
The union believes that requiring vaccinations “unlawfully imposes new conditions of employment,” and asked a judge to stop the airline from enacting the requirement. Stay connected to MickeyBlog as we continue to update you about these canceled Southwest flights and all other Florida travel updates!
Article Information: www.nytimes.com
Featured Image: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren
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