Blames Weather Amid Court Battle Over Vaccine Mandate

Competing explanations clashed Sunday as Southwest Airways posted a number of flight cancellations.

The corporate blamed the cancellations on air visitors management issues and restricted staffing in Florida in addition to unhealthy climate, based on CNN.

Nevertheless, explanations bouncing round social media recommended that Southwest might have been hit by a job motion resulting from its announcement final week that workers are required to be vaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus. The announcement was geared toward complying with President Joe Biden’s vaccination mandate, the aviation information web site Simple Flying reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported no scarcity of air visitors management personnel and mentioned poor climate had been restricted to Friday afternoon. The union representing Southwest pilots issued a press release declaring no “official or unofficial” work stoppage was going down, although the union had gone to court docket on Friday to attempt to halt the vaccination requirement.

But Southwest’s passengers had been affected by interruptions to their journey plans all weekend, and rumors flew.


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“Once I received to the road they rescheduled me on a flight tonight at 9, however that one was simply canceled too,” traveler Wendie Kaminski, hoping to go away Chicago, mentioned on Saturday, based on WGN-TV.

“We additionally heard inside that Southwest has had a walkout as a result of COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” Kaminski mentioned.

Though the FAA discounted climate as a think about airline flights, and different airline operations had been largely routine, Southwest on Sunday blamed climate as the first downside.


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“We skilled climate challenges in our Florida airports initially of the weekend, challenges that had been compounded by surprising air visitors management points in the identical area, triggering delays and prompting vital cancellations for us starting Friday night,” Southwest mentioned in a press release to Fox Business.

“We’ve continued diligent work all through the weekend to reset our operation with a concentrate on getting plane and crews repositioned to maintain our prospects,” the assertion added.

“With fewer frequencies between cities in our present schedule, recovering throughout operational challenges is harder and extended. We’re working diligently to accommodate our prospects as rapidly as attainable, and we’re grateful for his or her persistence.”

CNN reported the Southwest canceled greater than 1,000 flights on Sunday after scrubbing 808 flights on Saturday.

In a Twitter put up printed Sunday, the FAA mentioned no air visitors controller staffing shortages had been reported since Friday afternoon.

“Flight delays and cancellations occurred for a couple of hours Friday afternoon resulting from widespread extreme climate, army coaching and restricted staffing in a single space of the Jacksonville Air Route Visitors Management Middle,” the put up acknowledged.

It attributed “scheduling challenges” to “plane and crews being misplaced.”

Different airways didn’t face the identical issues as Southwest, based on studies.

“Whereas Southwest blamed climate and visitors management points for the widespread cancellations throughout its community, no different airline reported comparable service disruptions this weekend. American Airways, for instance, had about 63 cancellations as of early Sunday afternoon and United Airways solely had 9,” The Washington Post reported Sunday.

The Southwest Airways Pilots Affiliation ascribed the cancellations to “administration’s poor planning” and denied any worker motion was responsible.

“SWAPA is conscious of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airways immediately resulting from numerous points, however we will say with confidence that our pilots should not collaborating in any official or unofficial job actions,” the union mentioned in a statement Saturday.

On Friday, Southwest’s pilots went to court docket to dam the vaccine mandate, based on Bloomberg.

“The brand new vaccine mandate unlawfully imposes new circumstances of employment and the brand new coverage threatens termination of any pilot not totally vaccinated by December 8, 2021,” the authorized submitting acknowledged, based on Bloomberg.

“Southwest Airways’ extra new and unilateral modification of the events’ collective bargaining settlement is in clear violation of the RLA,” it mentioned, referring to the Railway Labor Act, which covers labor relations between airways and unions. | Blames Climate Amid Courtroom Battle Over Vaccine Mandate

Huynh Nguyen

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