FAA To Southwest: Don’t Blame Us For Your Operational Meltdown

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Airlines love nothing more than passing the buck.

I have flown on American when the pilot says the flight is cancelled due to mechanical reasons, only to have American later claim it was due to weather reasons. That makes them instantly absolved of all liability to compensate passengers for their expenses. Luckily I recorded their employees telling me that it was cancelled for mechanical reasons and American did wind up covering our overnight expenses.

Southwest has had poor operational performance this year, but they have completely melted down over the past few days.

  • On Saturday, Southwest cancelled 24% of their flights and delayed another 36% of their flights.
  • Yesterday, Southwest cancelled 30% of their flights and delayed another 33% of their flights.
  • So far today, Southwest cancelled 10% of their flights and delayed another 39% of their flights.

That may not rise to the level of Spirit’s operation meltdowns, but it’s bad. In fact, it seems like every major US carrier has suffered operational and call center meltdowns over the past year, besides for United. Staffing issues have been a major problem in the aviation industry, as it has been across the country this year.

So what happened with Southwest this weekend?

Southwest told USAToday that Air Traffic Control issues and weather were to blame.

The FAA didn’t take kindly to that and they took the unusual move of responding to that by saying Southwest’s problems were not due to Air Traffic Control issues,



Was it weather? And if it was, why did no other airlines experience anything close to Southwest’s meltdown?

Texas based American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have been facing protests and lawsuits due to newly released deadlines for employees to be fully vaccinated within the coming months.

On Friday, Southwest’s pilot union announced that it was suing the airline over the vaccine  mandate. However, they deny any organized action against the airline. Of course organized action would be illegal, so that’s not something they would be admitting to anytime soon. Southwest also says that protesting employees calling in sick were not the cause of their operational issues.

What do you think is the cause of the meltdown? Were your travel plans disrupted by Southwest over the past several days?

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119 Comments On "FAA To Southwest: Don’t Blame Us For Your Operational Meltdown"

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Vaccine mandates are ruining life
Enough said




Persuasive I must say


Amen. And Jack below is the Germanic-inclined nut.


Vax mandate.

I know from some people on the inside.

Anything else is a lie.


Sounds great to me. Two can play the financial damage game.


It’s not hard to see that this is because of the vaccine mandates. Pilots can’t just walk out, but they can ‘sick out’. I hope the airline industry stops just blindly implementing whatever Biden’s agenda is, and starts treating pilots and passengers as rational human beings.


Step 1: claim you got corona
Step 2: refuse vaxx on grounds of antibodies
Step 3: tell Southwest to stick it (their vaxx in someone else who needs it)
Step 4: profit

Kate fallas

My flight was canceled but I don’t care. I’m so happy that pilots are resisting the vaccine mandates and speaking out and standing up for americans freedoms! Pilots are the heroes we need right now. Vaccine mandates are a big deal. They will lead somewhere. this is how the government gains control of its people. resisting is how we fight vaccine mandates. fight for your freedoms. resist. do not comply. southwest is first. others will follow suit. democrats love using the term “our body, our choice” is when it comes to abortions. why does the same not apply to vaccines? please think for yourselves when it comes to this. why, in the midst of everything our government has screwed up in the last year, anyone would want to give the government control of our power (or anything else for that matter) is beyond me. covid is nothing more than a flu. albeit, perhaps slightly more deadly than the typical flu. but at the end of the day, nothing more than a flu. stay healthy, wash your hands and you will most likely be fine. given that you are not elderly and/or no underlying conditions – those in those categories should most definitely take precautions & strongly advise to get the vaccine. if you see democrats even dare try to mandate vaccines on children, mark my words, you will see certain states revolt in the streets and take out their guns against the government. joe biden & fauci will start a civil war over this if he tries to take this any further. elections have consequences. #letsgobrandon #fjb


You left out that bit about the Mossad and JFK…


HA! they also forgot to include tin foil caps. LOL


Best line I heard in while was dying of laughter. Thanks


just roll up your sleeve and take the darn shot already!


What about natural immunity? I had covid. I recently retested and still have a high antibody level. No medical need for me to vaccinate.


Hmmm that’s what my sister-in-law said until her 38 year old brother died of Covid last month and my young nephew found him in bed, passed away, after claiming the night before that after feeling like he’d recovered, he was suddenly having some labored breathing.

She went that week and got the shot. Seems it takes personal tragedy – what she thought was no big deal, ended up being a pretty big deal.




You are free to chose your employer and your employer can set up rules for your employment, as this is a free country right?
“democrats love using the term “our body, our choice” is when it comes to abortions. why does the same not apply to vaccines?”
Same applies in your direction right? Right now its your body your choice but for women its different right?
“f you see democrats even dare try to mandate vaccines on children, mark my words, you will see certain states revolt in the streets and take out their guns against the government.”
Weird, nobody complains when community colleges have vaccine mandates but for COVID its different right? I cant wait until the Top universities make COVID vaccines mandatory, wanna see how you gonna force Harvard/Yale/Princeton to change rules.

Tim Tebow

Vaccine mandates have happened since George Washington had one for the revolutionary army and smallpox. Everyone took it despite the 2-3% death rate of the vaccine itself, since it was better than the alternative.

Also, back in 1905, a pastor in MA decided to go against another smallpox vaccine mandate and the Supreme Court ruled against him, claiming that real liberty for all could not exist if people could act regardless of injury to others.

You are endangering those who are at risk. Get the vaccine, wear a mask indoors, live your life. This isn’t hard.


Good news! Those who were at risk are now vaccinated (or chose not to just like anyone else can), so they are no longer at risk!


Keep in mind that this is not the only way things are done. In Israel, showing a previous POSITIVE test result is practically as good as a vaccination. In the USA, you take a vaccine because you were instructed to do so.
People who would take almost every other vaccine are resisting this one because it came to the point where the science is taking vaccine mandates into account instead of vaccine mandates taking the science into account.


This argument can’t be made of the covid vaxx. It doesn’t provide immunity and doesn’t stop the spread


“Our Body our choice “… Is pregnancy contagious?


Been stuck in Texas Bc my return flights been cancelled 3 times. Send help!

Rich Cooper

It’s bigger than vaccine mandates. That’s an excuse. No one wants to work anymore. Why should they if the government is doling out free money.


BINGO! I work in a hospital with agency people making 125 an hour and dont do a damn thing all day! One said, I dont care im AGENCY!


I have sympathy for southwest melting down, but DOJ should investigate companies that knowingly lie to consumers and heavy fines should follow


United Airlines implemented a vaccine mandate successfully. I think Southwest is having trouble only because it’s based in Texas where they’ve made vaccines a political issue when it’s really a public health issue. Covid is more than just the flu. I know so many that have passed away and even more that got terribly ill from it. I will feel safer flying when I know that the airline crews are vaccinated.


Why is organized action illegal?

Mountain Man

I think people ought to get vaccines but the ultimatums and threating peoples jobs and careers if they don’t comply is sickening. It sets a terrible precedent. I think Delta did it correctly by assessing a surcharge on the health insurance plan.

Another risk with issuing ultimatums is when your hand is called to see if you’re bluffing or if there is weight behind your words. Personally having gotten the vaccine the only side effect I notice is better 5g reception. But I can emphasize with other people’s (especially younger and healthier) apprehension. Originally we were told that the vaccine would prevent catching covid. Now it’s that it will weaken the symptoms. Yet, we’re seeing data from Israel of people being hospitalized even after getting 3 shots from pfizer. Clearly pfizer is not 97% effective as it was sold to us earlier this year.

But back to the terrible precedent. We live in a world where boundaries keep getting pushed. Again I think people ought to get the vaccine but it should be a free choice. Forcing people to creates a very slippery slope where legislators or employers can start mandating other “health” objectives and threaten your families livelihood. Perhaps my fear is unfounded. Time will tell.


Your free to find another job, are you not?

Mountain Man

No forced is correct. If you’ve had a career there for 15 or 25 years and a new CEO comes in and changes the culture, that’s forced.

To be more clear have you left jobs on principle? I have. It’s easier said than done.


100% you got it, its a called a free market!
Dont like your employer, feel free to leave.


Not if the government forces all employees in you’re profession/industry to vaccinate.


“ Your free to find another job, are you not?”

Not really when every employer with over 100 employees is forced by the government to mandate vaccines.
The Declaration of Independence calls for ‘life, liberty and pursuit of happiness’ – the right to work is the third one there. The federal government is doing an end-run around the constitutional process by pushing vaccine mandates through OSHA and direct intimidation of companies (see press conferences Biden did with airline CEOs) to make you do what they want by abrogating your fundamental rights.
This is the sort of thing that precipitated the original American revolution.


It’s not “your,” it’s “you’re,” as in you are…


EX You are going to have a VERY long day ahead of you. lololololololo


I think employers should start making demands of their employees and prospective hires to see how far they can stretch. How about HIV tests to keep other employees safe? How about the madrassa starts instituting virginity checks? Let’s see, how about forcing all employees to take a medication that isn’t proven safe for pregnancy?


Boy Anon you are one, really MESSED UP INDIVIDUAL!


Did you confuse me for a Democrat, Jacky? Worry not, I just play one in the comments.


What happens when the medical world does this. Are they going to admit the mandate will kill people, or just add it as a COVID death?


Housing is gone up like crazy gas as well, 90 percent of industries have staff and supply shortages with them raising their prices. Now airlines what’s next because of COVID the has a 009 mortality rate


Any chance you have an education higher than a GED?



michael madsen

It’s not about freedom, it is a public health issue.
When they close the beach because of an oil spill, are you going to sue someone?
Yes, you won’t likely get COVID from the pilot. But someone might. And that someone might give it to someone else. And so on. It’s not about you and your rights.
Its a PUBLIC HEALTH issue.
When the law requires you to wear seatbelts, are you going to sue someone?
When they require you to take antibiotics for multi-drug-resistant TB, are you going to sue someone?
Wash your hands preparing food in the restaurant? Oh, that soap makes my skin peel. Those regulators, what do they know?
Stop at red lights?
Dump garbage in the sea?
Spew chemicals into the air?



I agree it’s a public health issue but working without a vax was seemingly safe enough the last year and a half


I like the analogy to seatbelts. Of course, to get to that point you have to comply with a lot of TSA rules. Even some of the pilots have problems getting past those checkpoints, if they’re drunk or carrying.
I don’t think the airlines can have it both ways. They spent all this money on advertising, about how much cleaning they do before flights and how their air filtration system is better than the next plane’s. Now, if the people up front or in the galley cough, is everyone happy that none of those air particles are going to be inhaled by a 70-year-old cancer survivor?


If it was really a public health issue:
– Antibodies from having had covid would count as if you’re vaccinated.
– Masks would be “medical grade” only, since cloth masks do next to nothing.
– Children wouldn’t be wearing masks or being readied for vaccines since a statistically miniscule percentage of children have died of covid.
– The sick pilot with symptoms will be home sick. He won’t be infecting anyone on the flight.


Very well said!!


True about masks. Remember when NYC was handing out tickets to Orthodox Jews and masks to everyone else, an Bill DeBlasio was running around with those “gator masks”, which the CDC said actually said is worse than no mask (when only one layer)?


Studies show that vaccination does not prevent the spread of Covid, only protects the vaccinated from hospitalization and death (which is amazing and super important obviously)
But that means that people will STILL GET COVID whether we vaccinate more people or not. Look at Israel. The vaccinated are protected!
The unvaccinated are not endangering the vaccinated. Stop panicking and let’s get back to living our lives.


What studies? Do you actually read the medical literature or just retweet social media propaganda? When did the world stop interpreting data critically and start relying on stupidity? You’re going to kill us all.


It’s not about a public health issue here, it’s about freedom.
How’s it if they’d close all beaches because there were some which had an oil spill?
If the pilot has COVID because he wasn’t vaccinated, he will not give it over to someone who chose to vaccinate, or maybe he will, but that would bring on the question as to why the reason the pilot got infected was due to him not having being vaccinated?
There is no natural immunity to car accidents.
If two soaps were equally effective and regulators mandated washing with the one which made your skin peel after you already washed with the other one, that would be slightly problematic.
If you needed to stop moving in your house when the light on the corner turns red, that would be an issue. Auto safety wouldn’t make too strong an argument there.
Dump garbage in your body (when not necessary).
Spew chemicals in to your body (when not necessary).

Dei Deiyenu!


No Saul, if IS a public health issue. Your non sensical responses are testament to the need for those in the know to protect the ignorant. It’s not your fault you’re ignorant. We’ll take care of you.

On a side note

On the one hand Democrats love covid because it gives them more leeway with mail in ballots but on the other hand, they are the ones that will lose if covid isn’t resolved as they are in power now, just like trump lost. Love to see them all over the place like this!! And would love even more if they lose big! Thanks for reading!


I mean, I guess we can figure out who didn’t get the vaccines yet… makes the weeding out process a lot easier and can’t keep pinning it on the lower socioeconomic population.

Art Z

My wife got stuck last night on the last Southwest flight out of Oakland. They were delayed leaving because a flight attendant was late getting there on a flight from Ontario. By the time she arrived, the pilot was required to go home due to the mandatory rest rules. Southwest put her up in a hotel for 3 hours sleep. They told her the company line: Weather in the Southeast and tower problems.


“Stuck” on Sanibel Island. Received an email 4am that my flight was canceled and nothing available today. Luckily they were s me to extend my reservation at The Sundial. Rebooked for tomorrow with my fingers crossed, they still took close to 50k points from me for rebooking to what is deemed a more expensive flight, I’m hoping they can fix that.


What a wonderful place to be stuck on!!


Once or twice a week Dan brings us news about El Al. But he and commenters are curiously silent about how that airline handles this issue. I found this, from last February:

In a sign that we one day might return to normalcy, El Al Israel Airlines has announced that all employees that come into contact with passengers have been vaccinated, Israel Hayom reported Friday.
With this announcement, El Al has made history for being the world’s first airline to have all of its relevant staff, including attendants, security personnel, pilots, and other service personnel, inoculated against the virus.
In a statement, El Al’s local competitor, Israir, said 95% of its pilots had had received the dose of the vaccine.


“employees that come into contact with passengers”
Not the baggage handlers and cleaners, etc


Southwest was correct. There was Air Traffic Control problems because they stubbornly refuse to communicate with a plane that has no pilot. And weather is a factor because the airline is in a total fog. (And therefore, the passengers.)




Dan, from where do you ge5 you4 information. Surely not from real scientists not bought out by the medical conglomerate and government. The vaccinated have a much bigger viral loud…they measured 251 times in the noses, from many prominent scientists and doctors bein* censored. Do you read dr. Robert Malone and dr. Peter me coullough and dr. Selenio for sure cnn and nbc and the rest are not giving you the current information. I’d feel safer with the place full of non vaccinated people!


I mean Southwest has their homebase in Dallas and there has been storms all around this weekend…

John Hatfield

Southwest is so screwed up, i will avoid ever flying them again. Get vaccinated!