Southwest Airlines flight cancellations continue into Monday

Posted at 6:31 AM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-11 15:08:48-04

(AP) -- Southwest Airlines canceled hundreds more flights Monday following a weekend of major service disruptions.

According to Flightaware, the carrier has canceled 348 flights Monday and delayed another 303 flights.

At San Diego International Airport, as of 10 a.m., 14 flights scheduled to arrive through 2 p.m. have either been canceled or delayed. Twelve flights scheduled to leave San Diego through 2 p.m. have been canceled or delayed.

The Dallas-based airline had blamed air traffic control issues and weather for its weekend "operational challenges" that saw over 1,000 canceled flights on Sunday alone.

In a tweet, the Federal Aviation Administration countered those claims saying they have had no reports of traffic shortages since Friday.

The AP reported that the delays occurred shortly after Southwest's pilot's union asked a federal court to block the airline’s order that all employees get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association rebutted claims that they were protesting, saying in a statement that they "can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions."

"Our Pilots will continue to overcome SWA management’s poor planning, as well as any external operational challenges, and remain the most productive Pilots in the world," they said in a statement. "They will continue to be focused on their highest priority -- safety. SWAPA Pilots are true professionals and will always maintain the highest level of responsibility to their crews, their passengers, and our airline."

Cancellations impact family’s vacation

For Joyce Lujan and her family, their trip to San Diego has been nothing but a nightmare.

Their family vacation was supposed to happen last year, but it was canceled because of the pandemic.

Lujan rebooked it and thing were going as planned until the day of their scheduled departure from Colorado when they were notified their flight was canceled.

Lujan added, "We tried to rebook and couldn't rebook. Finally, I called the Southwest line and I was on hold for six hours."

She finally got a new flight the next day, only to have it canceled again.

“If it’s cancelled, I’m just going to lose out on all the money I put in for the van, the hotel, the Disney tickets. We’re taking the grandkids to Disneyland. Those are all non-refundable; you can’t get your money back on this stuff,” Lujan told ABC 10News.

Lujan said at the end of the day, she’s still worried about her flight home, concerned she’ll face similar problems.

“I’m nervous that we’re not going to be able to all get on a flight. I even packed extra medication in case we’re delayed here,” she said.