CHICAGO — Hundreds of Southwest Airlines customers have been left stranded due to widespread cancellations across the country.
The airline has said that an air traffic management program put in place due to weather has caused significant delays, although some customers say it is rumored that employees are on strike.
“When I got to the line they rescheduled me on a flight tonight at 9, but that one was just cancelled too,” flyer Wendie Kaminski said.
The flight cancellations have caused passengers to grow upset and confused, noticing a lack of employees at the airport.
A statement from Southwest Airlines said the following:
“We experienced significant impact in the Florida airports yesterday 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.”
Passengers have said they have been given very little information from the airline.
“It’s only two employees, they only have two people checking you in for luggage and tickets,” customer Kasena Jackson said.
Customers have heard that employees may have walked off the job, contributing to the delays.
“We also heard inside that Southwest has had a walkout due to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” Kaminski said.
According to the Washington Post, the airline is requiring all employees to be vaccinated against the virus, although they have until December 8 to comply.
One passenger said she was told there would be no Southwest flights out of Midway International Airport Saturday or Sunday, hinting that the cancellations may continue.