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Southwest crew shortage / operational meltdown 10/9/21 thru ??

Southwest crew shortage / operational meltdown 10/9/21 thru ??

Old Oct 9, 2021, 8:05 am
  #1  
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Southwest crew shortage / operational meltdown 10/9/21 thru ??

I'm on a Disney board, quite a few people over there are saying their flights to and from MCO have been cancelled or significantly delayed last night and today. Any body know why? Someone said it was an ATC issue at JAX but that doesn't seem to make much sense to me, why would WN be having more problems than other carriers if that were the case.
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 11:21 am
  #2  
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Whew! That was a close one. I was originally going to fly home from MCO-DCA last night (on the 7:40pm departure). I just checked and saw that the flight was cancelled. I decided to come home on morning flight instead because there were thunderstorms forecast in the afternoon/evening. (And, I had already done everything I wanted to do in Orlando).

I don't know the definitive reason for all the cancellations, but here is the current FAA OPS plan
https://www.fly.faa.gov/adv/adv_othe...ate=10/09/21EN
ENROUTE CONSTRAINTS:
ZDC/ZWY/ZJX/ZMA/ZMP - THUNDERSTORMS

(There is also some sort of military activity going on that has shut off the AR routes )
EN ROUTE ACTIVE:
UNTIL 0400 -FCA001:NO_AR_ROUTES_TO_MCO_TPA_AREAS

https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publ...tion_7.11.html

Last edited by dc2; Oct 9, 2021 at 11:23 am Reason: fix link
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 11:22 am
  #3  
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MCO shows 5% of flights overall cancelled
WN is showing 9% cancelled systemwide

An ATC issue in another city can impact across multiple cities...no idea if that is an issue.

https://flightaware.com/live/cancelled
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 1:50 pm
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I had a MSY-TPA flight cancelled last night that really messed up my travel plans. There were no acceptable options to rebook (everything reasonable was full) so we ended up having to make the long drive instead. I called Southwest to get a full refund on the flights. The agent said the reason was weather. Not sure if I believe that... The incoming flight landed on time, MSY weather was clear, and TPA had flights landing all evening. But what can you do?
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 2:34 pm
  #5  
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This was posted on Southwest's Twitter page:

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)

If your travel was affected, please explore self-service rebooking options by checking you flight status on
http://southwest.com. (2/2)
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 2:58 pm
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My PHL-TPA flight also cancelled this morning. Soonest they could get me to TPA was Monday afternoon (via MDW with a 3-1/2 hr layover!), and I am A-List plus on a Biz Select ticket.

AA, DL, UA all had zero availability to TPA today (even with connections) when I was searching for other options after the WN cancellation. The AA agent I spoke with remarked that a lot of FL flights were canceling today for some reason. She speculated weather but I don't think that was it; maybe there is an ATC issue.

Relatedly - I did a quick search but didn't see this addressed (but that may be because of my poor search skills) - if I rebook with another airline and end up canceling with WN, can I still get the Rapid Rewards credit since it was their cancellation that led to this? I booked Biz Select for the extra points to maintain A-List next year since I haven't been traveling much this year. Does anyone know, or can someone point me to a thread about this if I missed it?
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 3:08 pm
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Moderate luck might get you that flight credit - but not standard procedure.
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 3:28 pm
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Love Field is a mess right now. Half the flights on the board are cancelled/delayed. Had a delay in PNS because they couldnt find crew.


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Old Oct 9, 2021, 3:32 pm
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere
Moderate luck might get you that flight credit - but not standard procedure.
Thanks.
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 5:38 pm
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Colleague post from Denver on FB:

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Old Oct 9, 2021, 7:49 pm
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Just got off a cruise in Port Canaveral and people trying to get home from MCO are ready to riot. Apparently there are Southwest agents there blaming it on ATC sickouts due to the vaccine mandate. Guess they're hoping their pax are stupid enough to believe that an illegal work action by ATC is happening and somehow mostly affecting WN out of MCO? Embarrassingly, there are a lot of people from my cruise who are now in our Facebook cursing ATC instead of Southwest, which I guess was the goal. Even worse, now there are fun 'the media doesn't want you to know about this, total blackout!' posts circulating, obviously by other people dumb enough to not understand that an ATC strike would be affecting all airlines.

SWAVictor I'm actually spitting mad about this. I always get a little frustrated when airlines blame delays on ATC because they figure that's easier than trying to explain to pax that yes, it's sunny here, but your delay is legitimately weather related! Your staff taking it up a notch and telling pax that it's because of an illegal ATC strike relating to vaccine mandates is positively shameful.

Last edited by synergistic; Oct 9, 2021 at 8:46 pm
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 8:21 pm
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Originally Posted by synergistic
Apparently there are Southwest agents there blaming it on ATC sickouts due to the vaccine mandate. .
Their jobs depend on not blaming fellow employees for sickouts. The pilots union is in court to reverse SWA's vaccine mandate. A big schedule disruption might get settlement talks in motion, so long as it's restrained and undeclared.

SWAPA Seeks to Block Vaccine Mandate
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 8:35 pm
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https://www.tampabay.com/news/tampa/...international/

ther say weather.
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 8:45 pm
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Originally Posted by LegalTender
Their jobs depend on not blaming fellow employees for sickouts. The pilots union is in court to reverse SWA's vaccine mandate. A big schedule disruption might get settlement talks in motion, so long as it's restrained and undeclared.

SWAPA Seeks to Block Vaccine Mandate
I mean, I guess I do get that they wouldn't want to say it out loud if their unionmates are engaged in a strike over vaccine requirements, but I have a whole slew of horrible things to say about trying to pass that exact behavior off on another group.

There are already posts making the viral rounds about how there's a media blackout hiding the massive ATC vaccine sickouts. There's a post in this thread that espouses that view, and legitimately seems to believe that to think otherwise is crazy. Hearing friends tell me that Southwest employees are responsible for spreading that kind of poison has me really, really upset.

​​​​​I've checked in with controller friends from four centers so far, and all they're seeing is totally normal inadequate staffing. I'm supposed to believe they're lying to me? Guess my Flyertalk activity qualifies me as media that needs to be blacked out.
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 9:16 pm
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800 cancellations on WN, 200 on all other airlines combined. The bad weather seems to only be falling on Southwest (or I smell a liar). HT to Joe B.
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