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

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Southwest Airlines 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.

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

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That got here sizzling on the heels of 808 flights canceled on Saturday. Southwest has blamed a mix of inclement climate and staffing shortages at Jacksonville Air Traffic Control Center in Florida for the disruption.

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But social media customers have cited a Friday court docket submitting by the airline’s pilots union, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, as proof of a special trigger.

That submitting sought to dam pilots from having to have a COVID-19 vaccine, with Southwest setting a December 8 vaccination deadline.

It is federally-required to vaccinate its workers as a holder of US authorities contracts.

Southwest nixed more than 1,800 flights during the weekend, leaving passengers stranded

Southwest nixed greater than 1,800 flights in the course of the weekend, leaving passengers stranded

But 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 totally vaccinated by December 8, 2021.’ 

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

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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 workers mentioned the shortages with its workers weren’t associated to vaccine mandates.   

Passengers took to Twitter to invest over the vaccine lawsuit after rivals axed far fewer flights; American Airlines 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,’ mentioned one Twitter person. ‘Thanks for ruining our week with our grandkids.

‘At least admit it was as a consequence of egocentric pilots.’

The Southwest Airline Pilots Association (SWAPA) is making an attempt to dam the airline from collaborating in a federally-mandated vaccine directive that requires workers to be totally inoculated by December 8.

The affiliation, which represents almost 10,000 pilots, in a court docket submitting demanded the airline ‘stop and desist’ the mandate rollout without 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 mentioned she was on maintain for greater than eight hours after her flight was cancelled

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

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‘Why lie about the problems of canceled flights?’ Michelle Harbort tweeted.

‘It’s not as a consequence of climate and ATC points!!! People are usually not getting vaccinated so your workers are strolling off the job!! Thankfully my husband and I obtained one other flight to our vacation spot.

‘Please do not lie, that is what made me mad right this moment.’

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

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

Southwest cancelled more than 1,800 flights during the weekend

Southwest cancelled greater than 1,800 flights in the course of the weekend

Andrew Sproge mentioned 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’d ship us to Honolulu and care for us after 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 resort, no meals.’

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Ryan Bevans mentioned he and his household mentioned 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 luggage,’ he tweeted. ‘Bags will proceed to vacation spot no matter what we do. Three children, pregnant spouse, no luggage… and the provide is a $100 credit score to a future flight with @SouthwestAir.

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

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

Another passenger mentioned 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.

More than 1,400 Southwest Airlines flights have been delayed or cancelled in June after a technical glitch in a climate data system.

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

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