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,
Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place. (2/2)
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) October 10, 2021
Air traffic control real-time status is always available for the public.
Look any time. Go to the source and check it out yourself: https://t.co/2JqKd70wIr
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) October 11, 2021
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?