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Southwest canceled greater 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 up to now, in accordance 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 informed 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 an announcement.

In an announcement, 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 look 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 accordance with FlightConscious.

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

We’re simply driving as a substitute

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

Cory mentioned she has spent greater 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.”

Kate Peifer informed CNN she was pressured to get a rental automobile and drive 900 miles after Southwest Airlines canceled the second a part of her flight on Sunday. She was at LaGuardia airport and touring again to Phoenix.

“I am on my way to my final destination,” Peifer informed CNN. “We were forced to rent a car and drive 900 miles home.”

Trouble for Southwest

Last week, the airline introduced a vaccine mandate for workers, fueling hypothesis that the weekend delays might have been brought on by 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 an announcement. “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 have 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 an announcement.

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

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

“To any Southwest customer whose journey with us fell short of their expectation this summer, we offer our sincerest apologies,” mentioned an announcement 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 an announcement.

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

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