An Al Goodwyn Cartoon: We (used to) love our employees – “Southwest Airlines”
Southwest is not so keen on their employees anymore. But, unfortunately, they have proven they give little for the customers either. Over the last weekend, they canceled more than 1,000 flights, blaming the weather, which was clear and beautiful over Florida.
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
Any many cried foul over this dubious SWA statement. No longer is “just because it’s on the internet means it must be true” apply. But we have to ask, with some 99,000 Southwest flight arrivals being delayed June through August, because of worker shortages, why the weather story?
According to the FAA
“No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday,” Steve Kulm, FAA spokesperson, said in a statement to USA Today. “Flight delays and cancellations occurred for a few hours Friday afternoon due to widespread severe weather, military t, raining and limited staffing in one area of the Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center.”
FlightAware reports that Southwest has canceled 1,018 Sunday flights as of 2 p.m. E.T., or 28% of the airline’s scheduled flights and the highest of any U.S. airline by a wide margin. Crains pegging the number of flights downed over the weekend was 2,000. So Forbes is saying that the shutdowns, for four days, impacted 3,000 flights.
Due to Covid Mandates, American Airlines has canceled 63 flights, or 2% of its operation, while Spirit Airlines canceled 32 flights, or 4% of its flights, also according to FlightAware.
With the heaviest flight cancellations for departures and arrivals, Sunday are great Southwest “hubs,” including Denver, Baltimore, Dallas Love Field, Las Vegas, and Chicago Midway.
Many believe the real reason for the cancellations is the inflight crews walking off the job instead of subjecting their continuing health to Joe Biden’s jab.
Southwest suffered similar widespread disruptions over several days in June, attributed to technological problems, both internally and with a third-party weather data supplier. Hence, the delays preventing crews from reaching flights they were scheduled to work.
Southwest’s pilot’s union said it was aware of the widespread cancellations but did not attribute them to pilots staying home. However, the union has objected to the airline’s recent announcement that it would mandate vaccination against the coronavirus.
“We can say with confidence that our pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions,” the union, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, said in the statement.
The union said that its members “will continue to overcome” management’s “poor planning” and other outside challenges, adding that Southwest pilots “always maintain the highest level of responsibility to their crews, their passengers, and our airline.”
The pilots union did say while it does not oppose vaccinations, forced vaccine mandates could lead to labor shortages and flight disruptions. The union is suing the airline for taking a series of “unilateral actions,” including the vaccination requirement.
United Airlines, the first large U.S. carrier to impose a mandate, said recently that:
“nearly all of its 67,000 employees had been vaccinated, except for about 2,000 who had applied for religious or medical exemptions and fewer than 250 who face being fired for failing to comply.
American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue Airlines have since followed suit.
Delta Air Lines has said it will not require vaccinations but will charge unvaccinated employees $200 more a month for health insurance.
And Americans are learning, even if the MSM cannot grasp simple concepts, blindly accepting that a bit of bad weather in Florida last Friday could affect schedules for the following four days. But also that it is not just the right-wing lunatics that follow President Trump saying no thank you.
It is everyday people, in routine jobs, just saying no. And if they are not showing up, you are not going to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving.
And that is why thousands of Southwest flyers found themselves grounded with no way home.