Here's a unique disaster.
Southwest Airlines canceled around 1,800 flights over the weekend, leaving thousands of Americans stranded at airports. Why so many? Southwest blames the unusual cancellation rate on air traffic control and weather issues.
" 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," Southwest Airlines tweeted.
However, skeptics don't buy Southwest's explanation, believing instead a protest over Southwest's vaccine mandate is the reason for the cancellations. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is among the doubters:
Southwest cancellations came just a day after the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association filed a request in federal court to temporarily block a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Adding jet fuel to the fire, Leland Vittert reported that airline sources told NewsNation a "sickout" protest caused the Southwest debacle:
Meanwhile, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association has since denied that the flight cancellations are related to a pilot shortage.
"We can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions," says the SWPA.
"Our Pilots will continue to overcome management's poor planning, as well as any external operational challenges, and remain the most productive Pilots in the world."
A lot of doubts and denials with this story. So you decide the true origin behind the nearly 2,000 canceled Southwest flights this weekend.