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Southwest cancels hundreds more flights; passengers stranded – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2021-10-11 22:34:00 –

Southwest Airlines canceled more than 350 flights on Monday after a turbulent weekend blaming bad weather and air traffic control issues. The pilot union accused the company of failing to respond, saying it was a trivial challenge for other airlines. Passengers were stranded and steamed from California to the east coast due to three consecutive days of cancellations and delayed flights. Just waiting for the next flight to be canceled is really relaxing, “said Vanessa Wheeler, who was competing for time at the airport in San Jose, California. She said Southwest Airlines had finally decided to book a return flight to Las Vegas with Delta after canceling six consecutive flights over a three-day period. According to FlightAware tracking services, Monday cancellations reached 10% of Southwest Airlines’ schedule, delaying at least 1,400 other flights, or about 40%. Southwest Airlines shares fell 4.2%, shortly after the Southwest Airlines Pilot Association, which represents 9,000 pilots, requested federal court on Friday to block the airline’s order to vaccinate all employees. In, widespread confusion began. The union argued that the Southwest had to negotiate on this issue, as pilots responding to the vaccine could be accompanied by sick leave and disability. If they can’t fly, union president Casey Murray told the Associated Press. Murray said the pilot did not get sick because of the vaccine mission. Instead, he blamed the turmoil of Southwest Airlines’ operations over the past few days, saying it was “fragile” and “cracked with little pressure.” The airline said it uses outdated crew scheduling technology that can lead to cascading disruptions when flights are canceled on parts of the network. Both Southwestern and American unions also claimed that they were too slow to manage pilots from absenteeism. Southwest Airlines Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ben said the airlines persuaded them during the pandemic to make them short. Staff shortage, especially pilots. The number of flights is decreasing due to lack of staff. After a significant delay this summer, Southwest Airlines has adjusted its fall schedule. This helped reduce last month’s delays, according to Van Deven. Shorten the initial schedule for November and December, “if you think you need to do more, do so.” However, there is a risk of fewer flights. Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration acknowledged a delay in parts of Florida on Friday, but opposed explanations for Southwest air traffic control. The FAA said on Sunday that “some airlines” were having problems due to the misalignment of planes and crew. Southwest Airlines was the only airline that was canceled over the weekend and reported a very high percentage of delayed flights. Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Brandy King said there was no evidence that the turmoil was caused by employee protests against vaccination. Brian Gesch of Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, who was traveling in Reagan, was not only due to flight delays, but also for no apparent reason. Washington National Airport with his wife. He suspected that weather and air traffic controllers were the real problem. “So we’re frustrated and missed work days.” Others were worried about going home. Kent Moddermog will drive 700 miles (1,127 kilometers) from Phoenix to Dublin with his 14-year-old son. California was unable to find a competing airline flight that was not exorbitantly priced after Southwest Airlines canceled the flight. “I didn’t mean to drop $ 3,000 to come back,” Moddelmog said. A consulting firm’s sales director said he flies southwest dozens of times a year, but “has never been in that situation.” Analysts at airline Savanthi Syth Raymond James said weekend issues would increase Southwest Airlines costs and exacerbate the tense relationship between the company and the union. In August, it announced that it would reduce its September schedule to 27 flights (less than 1%) and 162 flights (4.5% of the schedule) from early October to November 5. The White House has boosted airlines. Since they are federal contractors, they adopt the vaccine obligation. They will be paid by the Ministry of Defense to operate flights, including flights that bring Afghan refugees to the United States this summer. United Airlines was the first major US airline to announce vaccination requirements. Southwest remained silent after President Joe Biden announced orders for federal contractors and large employers. Finally, last week, Southwest Airlines told employees that they had to be fully vaccinated by December 8 to continue working. Workers can be asked to skip shots for medical or religious reasons. ___ AP correspondents Dann Huff in Washington, DC and RJ Rico in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Southwest Airlines canceled more than 350 flights on Monday after a turbulent weekend blaming bad weather and air traffic control issues. The pilot union accused the company of failing to respond, saying it was a trivial challenge for other airlines.

Passengers were stuck and steaming from California to the East Coast for three consecutive days of flight cancellations and delays.

“Waiting for the next flight to be canceled isn’t really relaxing,” said Vanessa Wheeler, who was competing for time at the airport in San Jose, California. She said Southwest Airlines had finally decided to book a return flight to Las Vegas with Delta after canceling six consecutive flights over a three-day period. She vowed never to fly southwest again.

According to FlightAware tracking services, Monday cancellations reached 10% of Southwest Airlines’ schedule, delaying at least 1,400 other flights, or about 40%. Southwest Airlines shares fell 4.2%.

Widespread turmoil began shortly after the Southwest Airlines Pilot Association, which represents 9,000 pilots, called on federal court on Friday to block the airline’s order to vaccinate all employees. The union argued that the Southwest had to negotiate the issue, as pilots responding to the vaccine could be accompanied by sick leave and disability.

“We are not against vaccination at all, but pilots are very worried about how their medical care will be treated,” union chairman Casey Murray told The Associated Press. rice field. Murray said the pilot was not schicking out because of the vaccination obligation.

He instead condemned the turmoil of the Southwest operations over the past few days, which he said was “fragile” and “cracked under slight pressure.” He said the airline is using outdated crew scheduling technology that can lead to cascading disruptions when flights are canceled on parts of its network.

Both Southwestern and American unions also claimed that they were too late to manage pilots from leave and persuaded airlines to take them during the pandemic, shortening them. bottom.

In a video for employees, Southwest Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ben said, “Despite a very aggressive recruitment plan, we still want to be with staff, especially pilots. I’m not in place. “

Due to a shortage of personnel, the number of flights is decreasing. After a significant delay this summer, Southwest has adjusted its fall schedule. This states that Van Deven helped reduce last month’s delays. Southwest Airlines has already significantly reduced its original schedule for November and December, he said.

However, there is a risk of fewer flights. This reduces the options for dealing with stranded passengers in the southwest.

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration acknowledged a delay in parts of Florida on Friday, but opposed explanations for Southwest air traffic control. The FAA said on Sunday that “some airlines” were having problems due to the misalignment of planes and crew. Southwest Airlines was the only airline to report such a large percentage of canceled and delayed flights over the weekend.

Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King said there was no evidence that the turmoil was caused by employee protests of all kinds against vaccination.

Some passengers were dissatisfied not only with flight delays, but also with no clear reason.

When traveling with his wife to Reagan Washington National Airport, Brian Gesch of Cedar Grove, Wisconsin said, “My concern was that there was no explanation that we felt really legitimate. “. He suspected that weather and air traffic controllers were the real problem. “So we are frustrated and miss a day’s work.”

Others were only worried about going home — in the best possible way.

Kent Moddelmog is 700 miles (1,127 km) from Phoenix to Dublin, California with his 14-year-old son as Southwest Airlines canceled the flight and could not find a flight for an exorbitantly priced competing airline. ) Will be driven. “I didn’t mean to drop $ 3,000 to get it back,” Moddelmog said.

A consulting firm’s sales director, who flies southwest dozens of times a year, said, “I’ve never been in that situation.”

Savanti Sith, an aviation analyst at Raymond James, said weekend issues would increase Southwest Airlines costs and exacerbate the company’s tense relationship with the union.

In the southwest I had a hard time all summer There are many delayed flights and canceled flights. In August, it announced that it would reduce its September schedule by 27 flights (less than 1%) and 162 flights (4.5% of the schedule) from early October to November 5.

The White House urged the airline to adopt mandatory vaccines because it is a federal contractor. They will be paid by the Pentagon to operate flights, including those that bring Afghan refugees to the United States this summer.

United Airlines was the first major US airline to announce vaccination requirements. Southwest remained silent after President Joe Biden announced orders for federal contractors and large employers. Finally, last week, Southwest Airlines told employees that they had to be fully vaccinated by December 8 to continue working. Workers can be asked to skip shots for medical or religious reasons.

___

Associated Press reporters Dann Huff in Washington, DC and RJ Rico in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Southwest cancels hundreds more flights; passengers stranded Source link Southwest cancels hundreds more flights; passengers stranded

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