UPDATED 12:32 PM PT – Sunday, October 10, 2021
Southwest Airlines cancelled more than 1,800 flights leaving thousands of customers across the country affected.
The Texas-based airline cancelled 27 percent of its flights on Sunday due to so-called air traffic control issues in Florida and bad weather conditions. Meanwhile, competitors like American Airlines and Spirit reported no more than a four percent cancellation total on their domestic flights.
Among the issues, Southwest said the carrier is prepared to cut flights during spring break unless they hire more staff. With many people having a three-day weekend, due to Columbus Day, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials said they screened more than two million people at airport security checkpoints on Friday.
Some have speculated the mass cancellations could be due to the vaccine mandate recently being imposed upon those who work for Southwest. Southwest has not confirmed whether staff shortages or the mandate contributed to this weekend’s cancellation.
ATC issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation. We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected Customers, and Customer Service wait times are longer than usual. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/o1scQJ5lLb
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 9, 2021