Union blasts Southwest: 'Management shortcomings' have led to 'repeated system disruptions'

The Southwest Airways pilots union urged the provider’s mass flight disruptions have been preventable, blaming the problems on “management shortcomings” that didn’t replace the airline’s outdated scheduling software program.

Southwest Airways has canceled 1000’s of flights in latest days, stretching past the latest winter storm that affected all airways, leaving passengers stranded and drawing scrutiny from the federal authorities. 

“The affect of Southwest’s operational collapse being felt by passengers and crews over this vacation was not a shock to anybody however the management of Southwest Airways,” the Southwest Airways Pilots Affiliation stated in an announcement. “It was unacceptable and the worst of the results have been completely preventable. ”

Southwest has canceled greater than 2,000 flights on Thursday alone, marking one other consecutive day wherein the provider canceled roughly 60 p.c of its schedule.

The union referred to as the disruptions a “systemic failure” and indicated the airline had outgrown its instruments to resist meteorological and technological disruptions.

The group positioned a lot of the blame on Southwest’s crew scheduling software program, suggesting it doesn’t enable displaced crews to stay in fixed contact with the corporate and fails to account for Southwest’s point-to-point community.

Many main airways use a hub-and-spoke mannequin wherein passengers touring from smaller markets usually join by main hub airports. 

Southwest’s operation allows the airline to supply many direct routes not operated by different carriers, however the leaner employees at particular person airports makes it harder for Southwest to swap planes and crews when disruptions happen.

“For greater than a decade, management shortcomings in adapting, innovating, and safeguarding our operations have led to repeated system disruptions, numerous disillusioned passengers, and thousands and thousands in misplaced earnings,” the union stated.

Southwest CEO Bob Jordan issued a video apology on Tuesday and stated the corporate would “go above and past” to supply clients with refunds and assist those that took costly detours. 

“We’re doing every little thing we will to return to a standard operation, and please additionally hear that I’m really sorry,” he stated.