WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – Multiple flights cancelled daily as Southwest Airlines continues to deal with staffing shortages.
An experience felt by many people at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut Monday morning and even more people, tens of thousands of travelers around the country, as Southwest Airlines experiences flight cancellations and delays nationwide.
“My experience this morning has been less than great. I’ve been up since three this morning,” said Ruth Mohr, whose flight was cancelled. “I love Southwest and I’m shocked. I’ve never had a canceled flight with Southwest so I was a little disappointed.”
According to aviation tracking site, FlightAware, Southwest canceled over 350 flights Monday morning nationwide and delayed more than 600. On Saturday, more than 800 flights were cancelled nationwide. Sunday, it was more than a thousand, around 28-percent of their flights for the day.
“I didn’t find out until later at night in the evening while I was asleep,” said Mohr, which seemed to be the case for many travelers Monday morning.
“There wasn’t much notice. That was the thing I was the most upset about. I mean our text came through at 12:30 this morning and we had to leave the house at 3:30 and that’s not a lot of time to prepare,” said Lisa Warych and Michael Tanguay. They told 22News they were supposed to leave for their anniversary trip Monday morning. “Hopefuly we’ll be able to get a flight back if we do get down. There not guaranteeing any flights right now for even going out Thursday or Friday so we’re not sure what’s going on. They couldn’t help us with the return flight.”
Sophia and Terry Lapan said they just wanted to get to elementary school this morning, “We were going to be there at 11:50 this morning to bring her to school. yeah and now I’m going to miss three days of school.” They realized they we’re just going to have to go with the flow. “Southwest is being really nice and they put us up for a couple nights. If we’re stuck here, we’re stuck here.” However, a Southwest employee let them know they found a flight for them one day earlier.
The airline blamed Air Traffic Control issues and bad weather in their Florida stations for the cancellations in a statement. But the FAA responded to that with a statement saying there have been no air traffic related cancellations or staffing shortages within air traffic control since Friday. No other airlines were forced to cancel flights in mass numbers. They said “some airlines” are experiencing “scheduling challenges” due to “aircraft and crews being out of place”
Due to months of staffing shortages, the Southwest pilots labor union, says reports of fatigue among pilots, which requires them not to fly, are tripple historic norms.