Southwest Airlines cancelled a quarter of its flights this weekend.
- Today they have cancelled over 1000 flights. The next highest total for a US airline is American Airlines with 63 as of this writing. United has cancelled 9 and Delta has cancelled 3.
The airline blames weather and air traffic control. That’s simply not plausible, though they did have some issues coming out of Florida and the Northeast (where other airlines weren’t similarly affected).
- The cancellations aren’t focused on a single region of the country, or even a single Southwest hub, but are across the system. Anywhere Southwest has a significant operation is one of the airports with the most cancellations in the country. And the FAA is calling them out.
Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place. (2/2)
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) October 10, 2021
There’s a rumor of a pilot job action protesting the carrier’s announced vaccination requirement (after it was pressured by the President to impose one).
- Several employees are telling customers this is the reason for the operational meltdown (that is also causing massive delays). The pilots union also sued on Friday to stop the mandate, arguing that it’s something that has to be implemented through collective bargaining.
The pilots union says there is no such thing happening.
- Of course they would say that, though, because any pilot job action would be illegal under the Railway Labor Act.
Southwest had operations meltdowns at the end of June. There they blamed weather, too. But they also had a shortage of crew. As before there’s more here than Southwest Airlines is admitting to.
After cancelling a couple of thousand flights, and delaying hundreds more, the lives of tens of thousands of passengers are being thrown into disarray. People are missing important life events, and this is not just ‘air traffic control and weather’, i.e. ‘things outside of the airline’s control that they cannot be blamed for.’
If your Southwest Airlines flight is cancelled or severely delayed, you’re entitled to a refund. Check other airlines to see whether a new ticket might get you where you’re going at reasonable cost. And don’t forget credit card trip delay coverage if you’re stranded somewhere for long enough, such as overnight, if the card you used to purchase your tickets offers it.
Remember, you’re on your own out there.
7 hours and 44 minutes and someone finally answered. While they are offering a refund, they are not providing any additional compensation because they are blaming it on the FAA
— Shaun Wallace (@ShaunMWallace) October 10, 2021