3.5 C
New York

Southwest cancels 60% of flights while air travel disruptions ease elsewhere

Published:

Aircraft are deiced at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee

Reuters

Southwest Airlines canceled greater than 60% of its flights on Monday, while flight disruptions stemming from severe winter weather eased at other carriers.

Airlines have canceled greater than 17,000 U.S. flights since Wednesday, in line with FlightAware, as storms brought snow, ice, high winds and bitter cold across the country, derailing air travel from coast to coast. Those conditions slowed down crews as they faced severe conditions at airports.

Southwest said Monday that it expected “additional changes with an already reduced level of flights as we approach the approaching Recent 12 months holiday travel period.”

Carriers are more likely to detail the prices of the disruptions once they report results next month, if not earlier. Southwest Airlines had outsize struggles. Executives pointed to unexpected fog in San Diego, staffing shortages at its fuel vendor in Denver, and internal technology, among the many additional challenges.

Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Alaska Airlines were among the many carriers affected by the weather. But other airlines had a percentage of cancellations on Monday.

Southwest’s problems continued on Monday while other carriers stabilized. The carrier had canceled greater than 2,600 flights, 65% of its schedule, and 820 more were delayed. Delta had canceled 9% of its mainline flights on Monday, United 5% and American lower than 1% with 12 flights scrubbed.

Greater than 3,200 U.S. flights were canceled on Monday, and shut to five,000 were delayed. Southwest had been canceling many flights proactively in an effort to stabilize its operation, COO Andrew Watterson told staff.

From Wednesday through Sunday, nearly one third of Southwest’s flights were canceled, and two-thirds were delayed, in line with FlightAware data.

The airline apologized to employees for the chaos, which left many struggling to come up with crew scheduling services, making it harder to get reassignments or make other changes, or get hotel rooms.

Southwest also offered flight attendants working over the vacation extra pay.

Southwest CEO Bob Jordan said in a staff message on Monday it could take a couple of more days to repair the airline’s operation.

“A part of what we’re suffering is a scarcity of tools,” Jordan said in a message to staff on Sunday. “We have talked an awful lot about modernizing the operation, and the necessity to do this. And Crew Scheduling is considered one of the places that we want to take a position in. We want to give you the chance to supply solutions faster.”

Some pilots and flight attendants were forced to sleep at airports because they were unable to seek out hotel rooms, their unions said.

Crews complained about being stranded and having to attend on hold with scheduling services. “Our customers struggled with it just as our 1000’s of flight attendants did. These are issues you could’t solve with holiday pay; that is time and quality of life that we are going to never get back,” Lyn Montgomery, president of the Transport Staff Union of America Local 556, said in a press release.

Each the pilots and flight attendant unions are in contract talks with the corporate.

Airlines often cancel flights proactively during bad weather to avoid having planes, crews and customers misplaced, problems that could make recovery from a storm harder.

Carriers also planned smaller schedules for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day compared with the times leading as much as the vacations, making it harder for them to rebook travelers on other flights, and bookings had spiked. An American Airlines spokeswoman said the “overwhelming majority of our customers affected by cancellations were capable of be reaccommodated.”

Delta is “seeing regular recovery in our operations, and expect the improvements to proceed over the subsequent several hours,” a spokesman said Monday.

Extreme cold and high winds slowed ground operations at dozens of airports. Greater than half of U.S.-based airlines’ flights arrived late from Thursday through Saturday, with delays averaging 81 minutes, in line with FlightAware.

“Temperatures have fallen so low that our equipment and infrastructure have been impacted, from frozen lav systems and fuel hoses to broken tow bars,” said United Airlines message to pilots on Saturday. “Pilots have encountered frozen locks when attempting to re-enter the jet bridge after conducting walk arounds.”

The FAA said it needed to evacuate its tower at United hub Newark Liberty International Airport in Recent Jersey due to a leak on Saturday.

JetBlue, meantime, offered flight attendants triple pay to choose up trips on Christmas Eve attributable to staffing shortages.

Passengers check in on the Delta counter at Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus, Michigan, on December 22, 2022. 

Jeff Kowalsky | AFP | Getty Images

An American Airlines spokeswoman said the “overwhelming majority of our customers affected by cancellations were capable of be reaccommodated.”

Delta is “seeing regular recovery in our operations, and expect the improvements to proceed over the subsequent several hours,” a spokesman said Monday.

Passengers also faced delayed luggage, nevertheless.

Bill Weaver, 41, said he, his wife and five children drove from Wichita, Kansas to Dallas Fort Price International Airport for a Friday flight to Cancun after their connecting flight into the American Airlines hub was canceled. The American Airlines flight to Cancun arrived on time but their luggage didn’t get to in Cancun until Monday, and hadn’t made it to their hotel by mid-morning, in order that they needed to spend tons of of dollars to purchase clothing and other essentials at their hotel.

Weaver, who works in software sales, said he used to travel continuously.

“I’m used to missing bags and things occur but that is by far the worst I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Extreme cold and high winds slowed ground operations at dozens of airports. Greater than half of U.S.-based airlines’ flights arrived late from Thursday through Saturday, with delays averaging 81 minutes, in line with FlightAware.

“Temperatures have fallen so low that our equipment and infrastructure have been impacted, from frozen lav systems and fuel hoses to broken tow bars,” said United Airlines message to pilots on Saturday. “Pilots have encountered frozen locks when attempting to re-enter the jet bridge after conducting walk arounds.”

The FAA said it needed to evacuate its tower at United hub Newark Liberty International Airport in Recent Jersey due to a leak on Saturday.

JetBlue, meantime, offered flight attendants triple pay to choose up trips on Christmas Eve attributable to staffing shortages.

sportinbits@gmail.com
sportinbits@gmail.comhttps://sportinbits.com
Get the latest Sports Updates (Soccer, NBA, NFL, Hockey, Racing, etc.) and Breaking News From the United States, United Kingdom, and all around the world.

Related articles

spot_img

Recent articles

spot_img