It’s been a rough past few days for anyone trying to travel on Southwest Airlines.
And that’s putting it mildly.
Almost 2,000 flights this past weekend were cancelled. That’s a whole lot of plans getting eviscerated for travelers that are simply trying to get from point A to point B.
The big question is why that ridiculous number was reached, and the answer depends on who you are talking to.
If you are interested in the official announcement from the company, here’s what they are trying to sell to the irate customers left stranded or forced to make alternate plans. They blame it on bad weather in Florida, which resulted in air traffic control problems and then the mass cancellations.
Here’s the problem with Southwest’s alibi. Other airlines had to deal with the same weather in Jacksonville, Florida, and they weren’t cancelling all their flights.
The FAA even kind of refuted what Southwest was selling, saying Friday was bad, but Saturday and Sunday was fine for flying weather.
Those in the know are saying the real reason for the mass cancellations is a pilot sick out, to protest the vaccination mandate the company is forcing on their employees.
On Friday, the pilot’s union for Southwest filed legal documents trying to stop the vaccine mandate the company put into effect last week. The union is saying they had nothing to do with the problem. It wasn’t a pseudo strike by the pilots. But the union did take the opportunity to trash the company. Here’s what they said in a statement.
“Our Pilots will continue to overcome SWA management’s poor planning, as well as any external operational challenges, and remain the most productive Pilots in the world.”
So, was it a sickout? Hard to say with certainty. One thing that can’t be refuted is the people that are sick to their stomach because their travel plans got hosed are certainly sick of everything they had to deal with this weekend.