HomeInternationalSouthwest canceled more than 2,000 weekend flights and the disruption continues

Southwest canceled more than 2,000 weekend flights and the disruption continues

The world’s largest low-cost provider canceled three of each 10 departures it had scheduled on Sunday and the disruption continued into Monday, a federal vacation, with 337 flights — or about one in 10 — canceled to this point, in line with the aviation monitoring web site FlightConscious.

The firm blamed the cancellations on air visitors management issues and restricted staffing in Florida in addition to unhealthy climate. It advised CNN late Sunday that getting operations again to regular was “more difficult and prolonged” due to schedule and staffing reductions made throughout the pandemic.

“We’ve continued diligent work throughout the weekend to reset our operation with a focus on getting aircraft and crews repositioned to take care of our customers,” the airline mentioned in a press release.

In a press release, the Federal Aviation Administration mentioned there have been no air visitors associated cancellations since Friday. The company mentioned that airways are experiencing delays due to plane and crews being misplaced.

“Flight delays and cancellations occurred for a few hours Friday afternoon due to widespread severe weather, military training and limited staffing in one area of the Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center,” the FAA mentioned.

However, different airways didn’t seem like as severely impacted by these points. On Sunday, American Airlines canceled 2% of its flights and low-budget Spirit Airlines additionally canceled 2%, in line with FlightConscious.

It’s a busy journey weekend as Monday is a federal vacation. Southwest canceled 808 flights on Saturday, stranding 1000’s of passengers throughout the nation.

Marye Cory was set to fly from Oklahoma City to Orlando Sunday morning for a cruise. At 3 AM she noticed her flight had been canceled and spent more than eight hours on the telephone with customer support.

Cory mentioned she has spent more than $400 and used 20,000 bank card factors on a United flight that can depart the morning of her cruise. She additionally misplaced cash on a booked AirBnb in Orlando and needed to rearrange childcare.

“I’ve flown with Southwest over 200 times and I’ve always been very happy with their customer service,” Cory mentioned. “I hope they sort this out.”

Last week, the airline introduced a vaccine mandate for workers, fueling hypothesis that the weekend delays could have been attributable to a pilot walk-out.

Almost all United employees complied with the vaccine mandate
“Southwest Airlines must join our industry peers in complying with the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination directive,” Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO mentioned in a assertion. “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 Southwest Airlines Pilots Association claimed the cancellations had been as a consequence of “management’s poor planning.” CNN has reached out to SWAPA for remark.

“SWAPA is aware of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airlines today due to a number of issues, but we can say with confidence that our pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions,” the union mentioned in a assertion.

Southwest has had a troublesome 12 months. The airline had the worst on-time efficiency and the biggest proportion of canceled flights of any of the nation’s 4 main airways in June and July, in line with flight monitoring service Cirium. Passengers aren’t the solely ones upset with Southwest: Unions for pilots, flight attendants and mechanics have all voiced complaints about the airline’s operations.

Southwest promised to deal with the issues by scheduling fewer flights in the fall.

“To any Southwest customer whose journey with us fell short of their expectation this summer, we offer our sincerest apologies,” mentioned a press release from Kelly. “We’re confident these adjustments will create a more reliable travel experience.”

The airline mentioned the modified schedule affected operations this weekend.

“With fewer frequencies between cities in our current schedule, recovering during operational challenges is more difficult and prolonged,” Southwest mentioned in a press release.

— CNN’s Chris Isidore, Pete Muntean and Greg Wallace contributed to this report.

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