Southwest Airlines Cancels 2,000 Flights Over Weekend, Blames Weather

October 10, 2021

Southwest Airlines has cancelled over 2,000 flights over the weekend as the carrier claims they've been plagued by weather difficulties and Air Traffic Control issues.

CNBC reports that Southwest says 'The airline blamed initial problems on bad weather and an “FAA-imposed air traffic management program.'

The airline blamed initial problems on bad weather and an “FAA-imposed air traffic management program.”
“Although we were staffed for the weekend, we could not anticipate the significant disruption that was created from unexpected ATC issues and bad weather across our Florida stations,” said Kasher.
Other airlines canceled relatively few flights. Southwest did not comment on the disparity.

Southwest also said there were staffing 'problems':

Southwest’s Kasher acknowledged to employees in his note Sunday that some crew members didn’t have hotel rooms last night and said disruptions can quickly snowball as flight crews hit contractual and federal working limits.
“Right now, our [network operations center] Teams are working to protect our Crew network and prevent misconnects — both for our Crews and Customers — that would cause an even greater impact,” he said. “And Teams are working to determine the best course of action to most quickly reset our network.”

Interestingly, other carriers did not encounter any of the same challenges. Other airlines canceled relatively few flights. Southwest did not comment on the disparity.

The Federal Aviation Administration said there were a “few hours” of flight delays on Friday afternoon because of severe weather and staffing issues at Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center, which controls airspace in five parts of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.

“No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday,” the FAA said. “Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place. Please contact the airlines for details about current flight schedules.”

SkyGoFly talked to workers at SWA Cargo in Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and they indicated the cancellations were the result of 'crew shortages', not weather or ATC issues.

Here is video I posted on the issue:

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