Southwest Airlines canceled nearly two thousand flights over the weekend, blaming air traffic control and weather problems affecting its service.
According to FlightAware, Southwest Airlines canceled just over 800 flights on Saturday and delayed more than a third of its service. On Sunday, the airline canceled 1,055 flights, the Daily Wire reports.
ATC issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation. We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected Customers, and Customer Service wait times are longer than usual. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/o1scQJ5lLb
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 9, 2021
Many speculated that flights were canceled due to a Southwest pilot strike. Indeed, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association on Friday asked the courts to temporarily halt a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its members, alleging a violation of labor law.
The association denied that as the cause of the cancellations.
“[The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association] is aware of operation 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 Southwest Airlines pilots union said. “Our Pilots will continue to overcome SWA management’s poor planning, as well as any external operational challenges, and remain the most productive Pilots in the world. They will continue to be focused on their highest priority – safety.”
Ironically enough, no other major airlines in the U.S. experienced anywhere near the number of cancelations Southwest boasted. However, American Airlines canceled 149 flights Sunday, United Airlines canceled 9 and Delta canceled 3.
The Federal Aviation Administration said there was no shortage of air traffic control employees since Friday, and that some airlines were having problems because crews and aircraft were “out of place.”
Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place. (2/2)
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) October 10, 2021