Southwest cancels 1,000 flights amid row with pilots union over obligatory COVID vaccines

Southwest Airways has been hit by a second day of mass-flight cancellations, two days after the agency’s pilots’ union requested a court docket to dam a COVID vaccine mandate.

The Dallas-based provider canceled over 1,000 flights Sunday, equal to 27 per cent of its total schedule for the day.

That got here scorching on the heels of 808 flights canceled on Saturday. Southwest has blamed a mix of inclement climate and staffing shortages at Jacksonville Air Visitors Management Middle in Florida for the disruption.

However social media customers have cited a Friday court docket submitting by the airline’s pilots union, the Southwest Airways Pilots Affiliation, as proof of a unique trigger.

That submitting sought to dam pilots from having to have a COVID-19 vaccine, with Southwest setting an October 4 vaccine requirement.

It’s federally-required to vaccinate its staff as a holder of US authorities contracts.

Southwest nixed greater than 1,800 flights through the weekend, leaving passengers stranded

However the Southwest pilots’ union lawsuit says the rule ‘unlawfully imposes new circumstances of employment and the brand new coverage threatens termination of any pilot not absolutely vaccinated by December 8, 2021.’ 

That go well with provides that Southwests’ proposed coverage is a violation of the Railway Labor Act. 

A spokesman for the pilots union – which represents 9,000 of Southwest’s 10,000 pilots – says it was not conscious of any industrial motion underway.   

Jacksonville Airport employees stated the shortages with its employees weren’t associated to vaccine mandates.   

Passengers took to Twitter to invest over the vaccine lawsuit after rivals axed far fewer flights; American Airways cancelled 63 flights Sunday, whereas United cancelled 9 journeys. 

A passenger and his child were left sleeping on the floor after being stranded in Las Vegas

A passenger and his baby have been left sleeping on the ground after being stranded in Las Vegas

‘This has nothing to do with climate,’ stated one Twitter person. ‘Thanks for ruining our week with our grandkids.

‘Not less than admit it was on account of egocentric pilots.’

The Southwest Airline Pilots Affiliation (SWAPA) is making an attempt to dam the airline from taking part in a federally-mandated vaccine directive that requires staff to be absolutely inoculated by December 8.

The affiliation, which represents practically 10,000 pilots, in a court docket submitting demanded the airline ‘stop and desist’ the mandate rollout with out first reaching an settlement with the union.

One passenger said she was on hold for more than eight hours after her flight was cancelled

One passenger stated she was on maintain for greater than eight hours after her flight was cancelled

Southwest is blaming the cancellations on air visitors management and climate points, however some passengers aren’t shopping for it.

‘Why lie in regards to the problems with canceled flights?’ Michelle Harbort tweeted.

‘It’s not on account of climate and ATC points!!! Persons are not getting vaccinated so your staff are strolling off the job!! Fortunately my husband and I received one other flight to our vacation spot.

‘Please don’t lie, that’s what made me mad at this time.’

Nora Kennedy, who stated she was stranded at Orlando Worldwide for days, posted a photograph of the airport’s departure board, which indicated a disproportionate quantity of Southwest flights being affected. 

‘Unusual how the ATC points and climate are nonetheless solely affecting your airline at MCO,’ she tweeted. ‘Have to be some loopy storms in the event that they’re solely focusing on your planes.’

Southwest cancelled more than 1,800 flights during the weekend

Southwest cancelled greater than 1,800 flights through the weekend

Andrew Sproge stated he and his son resorted to sleeping on the ground of a Las Vegas airport after being stranded there throughout a stopover en path to Maui. 

He wrote: ‘Flight to Maui was cancelled after arriving in Vegas. They informed us they might ship us to Honolulu and handle us once we arrived. 

‘Apparently the “taking care” of us meant the newborn is welcome to put on the carpet as we wait til tomorrow for one more flight. No lodge, no meals.’

Ryan Bevans stated he and his household stated the mass cancellations left him and his household stranded for hours.

Twitter user Nora Kennedy noted the disproportionate amount of cancelled Southwest flights

Twitter person Nora Kennedy famous the disproportionate quantity of cancelled Southwest flights

‘They have been unable to get our baggage,’ he tweeted. ‘Baggage will proceed to vacation spot no matter what we do. Three children, pregnant spouse, no baggage… and the provide is a $100 credit score to a future flight with @SouthwestAir.

‘About as (tone) deaf because it will get.’

He stated Saturday that customer support staff weren’t providing reimbursements, or lodge credit, and that the following flight out from Denver was three days away.

One other passenger stated she waited on maintain with the Dallas-based airline’s customer support for greater than eight hours.

The airline didn’t reply to a request for remark.

It isn’t the primary time Southwest airways has left its passengers in a bind.

Greater than 1,400 Southwest Airways flights have been delayed or cancelled in June after a technical glitch in a climate info system.

Flight operations started to renew throughout the US late on Monday after delays hit for hours.

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