Southwest cancels and delays hundreds more flights

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DALLAS, Texas (WJW) – Southwest Airlines canceled more than 300 flights Monday morning.

According to FlightAware, 322 flights were canceled early. More than 100 are delayed.

All Southwest flights scheduled to leave Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Monday morning are also canceled or delayed.

Over the weekend, Southwest canceled more than 1,000 flights, with another 800 cancelations on Saturday.

The airline blames the backlog on weather and air traffic control issues.

The cancelations come days after the airline announced it would require its workforce to be vaccinated to comply with new federal rules.

The Biden Administration announced last month that staff of federal contractors must be vaccinated unless they are granted a religious or medical exemption.

Major airlines, including Southwest, are considered federal contractors because they fly government employees, cargo and provide other services.  

According to an Associated Press interview with Henry H. Harteveldt, president and travel industry analyst at The Atmosphere Research Group, it is likely pilots are engaging in a work slowdown.

However, a statement from the pilot’s union said that’s not the case.

“SWAPA is aware of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airlines today due to a number of issues, but we can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions.

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. They will continue to be focused on their highest priority — safety. SWAPA Pilots are true professionals and will always maintain the highest level of responsibility to their crews, their passengers, and our airline.”

SWAPA

Harteveldt also says Southwest schedules more flights than it can handle, an issue that he says has been going on since June.

On Saturday, the airline sent a tweet asking people to be patient as it worked to get things back on track.

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