Weekend travel woes spill into Monday
Some airline passengers had their flights changed six times waiting to get out of the airport, while others were forced to drive hundreds of miles to their destinations instead over the weekend. Southwest Airlines canceled roughly 1,900 flights on Saturday and Sunday. As of Monday morning, the company called off 365 more flights, 10 percent of its total schedule, and delayed more than 600.
What caused the problem? Southwest blamed air traffic control issues and bad weather, but the Federal Aviation Administration noted Southwest was the only airline to cut so many flights. American Airlines reported 63 cancellations, roughly 2 percent of its schedule, on Sunday. The Southwest pilots union clarified that pilots are not on strike despite filing a lawsuit on Friday asking a federal court to block the airline’s employee COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The union blamed the cancellations on poor employee relations, planning, and logistics. Southwest said it will cut down on flights over the summer, citing employee shortages and exhaustion, and continue to reduce schedules over the fall.
Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in Liberties about how employers are handling workers’ religious objections to vaccine mandates.
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