Travelers across the nation were left stranded in airports after Southwest Airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights on Sunday, which accounted for 28% of its schedule and was about 4.5 times more than the next highest cancellation rate at 6%, . At San Diego International Airport, dozens of flights were canceled. Southwest is one of the largest airlines in the United States and takes air travelers to practically every major airport in the nation. They also are one of the primary airlines for San Diego International.
Southwest has primarily blamed the cancellations on inclement weather in Florida, “We experienced significant impact in the Florida airports [Friday] evening after an FAA-imposed air traffic management program was implemented due to weather and resulted in a large number of cancellations. We are working hard behind the scenes to minimize challenges and fully recover the operation as we take care of displaced Crews and Customers as quickly as possible.” However, many have speculated that the cancellations are not because of bad weather but because of employees calling out sick in protest of the company’s new COVID vaccine mandate. Southwest has stated that this is not true saying, “ that there are no work slowdowns or sickouts either related to the recent mandatory vaccine mandate or otherwise.”
The news surrounding this is another piece to the debate about vaccination mandates, and many people are pointing fingers at who to blame; those who are protesting or the company that is mandating they get the vaccine.
Photo Cred: Smiley N. Pool , Dallas Morning News