Southwest Airlines flight woes continue: 1,000 Sunday cancellations … and counting

Written by on October 10, 2021

Kathleen Miller was sleeping when the textual content from Southwest Airways arrived at 1:18 a.m. Sunday.

Her 7:30 a.m. flight from Phoenix to Dallas was canceled.

The Pennsylvania lady did not see the textual content till she was on the airport, the place Southwest representatives directed her to a snaking rebooking line subsequent to the ticker counters.

She stood in line for 45 minutes and left with a less-than-satisfactory rebooking choice: a Tuesday flight.

“Fortunately we now have kinfolk right here within the metropolis,” Miller mentioned.

Stranded Southwest passengers throughout the nation are fighting a second day of mass flight cancellations by the nation’s largest home airline.

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Southwest has canceled 1,006 Sunday flights as of 11 a.m. ET, in keeping with flight tracker FlightAware. That is 27% of the the airline’s scheduled flights and the very best of any U.S. airline by a large margin.

American Airways has canceled 63 flights, or 2% of its operation, whereas Spirit Airways canceled 32 flights, or 4% of its flights, in keeping with FlightAware. 

The Southwest Airlines rebooking line at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Sunday, Oct. 10. Southwest Airlines has canceled more than 1,000 Sunday flights across the country after canceling 800 on Saturday.

Southwest’s Sunday cancellation are on prime of 808 cancellations on Saturday, or practically one in 4 flights. This throughout a busy journey weekend given a federal holiday on Monday.

The airline blamed the issue on air site visitors management points and climate. In a press release Saturday the airline expressed optimism its operations on Sunday would enhance, not worsen. 

“We skilled important affect within the Florida airports yesterday (Friday) night after an FAA-imposed air site visitors administration program was applied resulting from climate and resulted in numerous cancellations. We are working laborious behind the scenes to attenuate challenges and absolutely recuperate the operation as we care for displaced crews and prospects as shortly as potential. We’ll proceed to reset our community at this time and hope to return to shut to regular operations as we transfer into Sunday.”

The airline has not commented on hypothesis about different potential causes, together with opposition to a vaccine mandate the airline announced every week in the past.

“Southwest Airways should be part of our trade friends in complying with the federal authorities’s COVID-19 vaccination directive,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly mentioned on Oct. 4.

Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airways Pilots Affiliation (SWAPA) blamed the flight woes on staffing and a “poorly run operation.” He mentioned the speed of pilots calling in sick has not spiked this weekend. He mentioned practically three out of 4 pilots working Saturday had journeys rerouted as a result of flight woes.

In a press release posted to its website Saturday, the union mentioned: “SWAPA is conscious of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airways at this time resulting from quite a lot of points, however we are able to say with confidence that our pilots should not taking part in any official or unofficial job actions.

“Our pilots will proceed to beat SWA administration’s poor planning, in addition to any exterior operational challenges, and stay the best pilots on this planet. They are going to proceed to be centered on their highest precedence — security.”

The autumn journey troubles for Southwest comply with a rough summer for the airline’s operation.  The airline’s executives have repeatedly mentioned their prime precedence is getting Southwest’s operation again on monitor.

►’We’re not out of the woods but’: Southwest admits operational struggles

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