Q: Did you over-schedule last weekend? It was the busiest schedule you have had since the pandemic began.
A: No. Did we have as much staffing and the crew margin as we would like, especially historically? No. We weren’t overscheduled, if we wouldn’t have had these issues we wouldn’t have had these problems.
Q: This has happened a few times going back to Father’s Day weekend. Does this start to cut into the reputation Southwest has built with customers?
A: I think that’s a great question. We’ve got a terrific history of taking care of our customers through the years now, being reliable with terrific employees providing service and terrific fares. And over that long period of time, we’ve built a lot of goodwill with our customers because we treated them well and we’ve taken care of them.
By Kyle Arnold | The Dallas Morning News
Southwest Airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights between Friday and Monday and left hundreds of customers stranded across the country.
The company said bad weather Friday night in Florida combined with air traffic control disruptions essentially shut down flights in and out of one of its busiest states and those problems created a series of staffing issues the entire weekend.
Bob Jordan, who will take over as CEO for departing CEO Gary Kelly on Feb. 1, said there is no truth to claims that employees intentionally harmed the operation to protest mandatory vaccinations for all employees by Nov. 24. Those claims were spread on social media by conservative politicians such as Donald Trump, Jr., son of the former president, and Sens. Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson.
Jordan talked with The Dallas Morning News about what happened and how he hopes to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Bob Jordan will take over as Southwest Airlines’ CEO for departing CEO Gary Kelly in February 2022. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Q: Was a pilot protest behind a walk-out that led to the thousands of canceled and delayed flights this weekend?
A: Not at all. Their trips are disrupted. They have unscheduled overnights. They have all the same types of impacts that our customers experience. So if anything, I think they’ve been heroes through this trying to operate. There is absolutely no evidence of any kind of job action.
Q: Is it tough when this talk gets spread by people outside the company?
A: It’s frustrating to us and it’s frustrating to our hardworking employees and to our unions. I had a chance to talk to the head of [Southwest Airlines Pilots Association] this morning and we’re both equally frustrated with that story because it’s not true.
Q: This isn’t the first time this summer that an isolated weather or technology problem has cascaded into a bigger issue. Looking back and trying to unravel it, what went wrong?
A: First off, you don’t ever want these things to happen because they’re just so disruptive to so many people, to our employees and especially to our customers. So it impacts thousands and thousands of people all these things that happened. This was actually very unique. You had a combination of ATC issues and weather in the Florida area on Friday afternoon that effectively took the arrival-departure rates in our Florida airports down the zero. You had almost nothing moving in and out of Florida for a long period of time.
And it really impacts us because you’ve got crews that are trying to move in and out of Orlando. We have a large crew base there. And what’s missing sometimes is just the way we flow our aircraft across the country.
On any given day, 40% to 50% of those aircraft lines flow through the state of Florida. If the state is either really slow or shut down, you just can’t move because a part of that line is flowing through the state at some point. You end up …read more
Source:: Los Angeles Daily News
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The Suicide Squad | Official IMAX® Red Band Trailer
From the horribly beautiful mind of James Gunn and filmed in IMAX. Experience