It was a rough weekend for Southwest Airlines and its customers, as the company canceled more than 1,800 flights on Saturday and Sunday.
Over 1,000 flights — about 28 percent of Southwest's daily operations — were canceled on Sunday. The company blamed this on weather and unexpected air traffic control issues in Florida that started on Friday evening.
Travel industry analyst Henry H. Hartevedlt told The Associated Press he thinks the problem has nothing to do with outside factors. Since June, Southwest has been scheduling more flights than it is capable of operating, he said, and because the company uses a point-to-point route network, meaning one flight makes multiple stops, delays cause "cascades" along the rest of the flight segments.
The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association pushed back on rumors that the cancelations were due to a mass walkout by pilots who oppose the company's vaccine mandate. "SWAPA is aware of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airlines today due to a number of issues, but we can say with confidence that our pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions," the group said in a statement Saturday.