February 5, 2023

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Southwest cancels more than a thousand flights, cites air-traffic control issues

Southwest Airlines canceled far more than 1,000 flights this weekend amid air targeted visitors management troubles and weather conditions, and the airline has not presented an update as to whether the cancellations may well carry on.

“ATC troubles and disruptive climate have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend although we get the job done to recuperate our operation,” Southwest stated in a statement on Twitter Saturday. “We value your persistence as we accommodate affected consumers, and client company hold out occasions are extended than typical.”

According to FlightAware, a internet site that tracks cancellations and delays, Southwest has canceled 1,018 flights and experienced 597 flights delayed on Sunday by itself. On Saturday, the airline canceled 808 flights and experienced 1,187 flights delayed. 

Southwest gave FOX Organization a for a longer period assertion on Sunday afternoon. 

“We expert temperature difficulties in our Florida airports at the beginning of the weekend, challenges that were compounded by unanticipated air site visitors regulate difficulties in the similar region, triggering delays and prompting considerable cancellations for us starting Friday night,” the spokesperson told FOX Small business.

“We have ongoing diligent function during the weekend to reset our procedure with a target on receiving plane and crews repositioned to get care of our customers,” the spokesperson extra. “With fewer frequencies concerning cities in our present program, recovering during operational troubles is far more challenging and prolonged. We’re operating diligently to accommodate our consumers as promptly as possible, and we are grateful for their persistence.”

“We’re offering customers extra overall flexibility to explore self-assistance rebooking selections on Southwest.com, where they can get updates on the standing of their vacation. We know the aggravation flight cancellations are producing for our buyers and staff and we apologize, and we again thank absolutely everyone for their tolerance as we operate initial to be secure, and 2nd to be as speedy as achievable in resolving disrupted ideas,” the spokesperson concluded.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson described that the air-website traffic control issues finished on Friday.

“No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been claimed due to the fact Friday,” an FAA spokesperson informed FOX Organization in a statement on Sunday. “Flight delays and cancellations happened for a handful of hours Friday afternoon due to prevalent critical weather conditions, military services schooling and constrained staffing in one space of the Jacksonville Air Route Targeted traffic Command Middle.”

“Some airways carry on to experience scheduling issues because of to aircraft and crews staying out of location. Remember to contact the airways for particulars about present-day flight schedules,” the spokesperson included.

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The Southwest Airways Pilots Affiliation, which filed a motion for a temporary restraining get towards the airline’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, issued a assertion clarifying that it had no connection to the cancellations and delays.

“SWAPA is mindful of operational troubles affecting Southwest Airlines now owing to a variety of problems, but we can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any formal or unofficial job actions,” the corporation claimed in a statement Saturday. “Our Pilots will continue to prevail over SWA management’s very poor planning, as nicely as any exterior operational troubles, and continue being the most successful Pilots in the world.”

FOX Business enterprise also attained out to the two airports most impacted on Sunday — Denver Worldwide Airport and Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall Global Airport. DIA did not reply, even though BWI referred FOX Organization to Southwest.

Lots of clients expressed aggravation, with some indicating that Southwest ruined their weekends. 

“Many thanks Southwest for ruining my weekend to see my granddaughter for the initial time,” Michael Meister, visual strategist at The Arizona Republic, tweeted at Southwest. 

Twitter screenshot. (Twitter)

“We are lacking our daughters [sic] college match simply because you wrestle to be the trusted airlines you use [sic] to be,” Brian Staab tweeted. “In excess of 2 hour hold out times with buyer services no on the internet options/possibilities. Southwest to Southlate to merely do not bother.” He additional that he had “no decision but to cancel and miss out on the occasion.”

Kate Peifer instructed a specifically harrowing tale. She reported that she “received a notification in the center of the night that the next fifty percent of our flight (which leaves in 120 minutes) is canceled. It is 120 minute wait around to get ahold of a person and we just cannot improve flights on the net. Not a good way to conclude our initially excursion to see family.”

She also posted a video clip displaying “a person of only two traces in LaGuardia airport that are for a longer period than 45 minutes to see purchaser provider. No boarding passes are printing for everyone in the airport,” she claimed.

FOX Business’ Grady Trimble contributed to this report.