One week ago Southwest Airlines announced that its 56,000-person workforce must be vaccinated by December 8th to continue being employed there. On Friday the Airlines’ pilot union asked a court to temporarily block the mandate.
On Saturday the airline began canceling hundreds of flights, and by Sunday over 1,000 were canceled. By the end of the weekend over a quarter of all Southwest flights were canceled. As rumors swirled on social media that a revolt against the vaccine mandate was responsible for this, Southwest immediately moved to offer a questionable counter-narrative.
In a tweet, Southwest has blamed the problem on “ATC [air traffic control] issues and disruptive weather,” though there are also rumors of air traffic controllers walking out in protest, and “disruptive weather” doesn’t seem to have impacted any other airlines. The pilot union has also denied that any sort of protest is taking place.
Here’s a map of that “disruptive weather” over the past 24 hours. Might want to circle back on your info. pic.twitter.com/NK6imbuKiY
— Jonathan Layne (@Jonathan_Layne) October 11, 2021
However, elsewhere Southwest acknowledged that they were having staffing shortages too, which was blamed for the cancellations among other factors including the aforementioned. They claimed in a press release that “We can say with confidence that our pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions.”
Senator Ted Cruz said what most of us are thinking from the evidence available, and pointed the blame towards Biden’s mandate, tweeting “Joe Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate at work! Suddenly, we’re short on pilots & air traffic controllers. #ThanksJoe.”
Joe Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate at work!
Suddenly, we’re short on pilots & air traffic controllers.#ThanksJoe https://t.co/wviOzLt7Iv
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 10, 2021
And the problem is continuing today, with nearly 350 flights already canceled as of writing.
AP: Southwest Airlines cancelled 348 flights Monday, delayed another 271 flights
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) October 11, 2021
How many more days of this until they can no longer blame it on bad weather?
Matt Palumbo is the author of The Man Behind the Curtain: Inside the Secret Network of George Soros, Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York, Debunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate