On Saturday thousands of travelers were left stranded due to mass cancellations that rippled across Southwest Airlines’ flights. The official statement from the airline says it is due to inclement weather but one (unconfirmed) report suggests it’s because of striking flight crew that are revolting against the vaccine mandate. What gives?
Southwest Airlines was forced to cancel around 34% of flights on Saturday leaving thousands of angry passengers stranded or frustrated about mixed signals coming from the airline. The official statement released on Twitter states the delays are directly related to “ATC issues and disruptive weather.” But some folks are telling a different story.
One frequent traveler, journalist, and podcaster tweeted an emphatic statement where he noted that one of his friends was caught up in the day’s mess but had received information from the gate agent that “thousands of pilots are on strike against the vaccine.”
Southwest Airlines, like many other airlines, is implementing a mandatory employee vaccination program, the details of which were recently announced last week. Employees must provide their vaccination status by November 24th or face termination.
Unions representing pilots and mechanics have steadfastly opposed such mandates and as was suggested by Rabinowitz’s tweet, they may be unofficially striking – if this information is to be believed. We emphasize that these reports are unconfirmed at this time. However, while their unions have filed lawsuits, they have also authorized protests pledging resources in support of such efforts. Are these protests already underway and affecting operations?
Passengers stranded on Saturday are calling baloney on reports of weather delays and took to Twitter to voice their frustration en mase.
One user claims her husband is a pilot with the airline and no such walkout is underway. So what gives?
We’d love to hear from Southwest and have reached out for comment.