Widespread Southwest cancellations — including San Diego flights — strand passengers

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Latest: Southwest Airlines cancels even more flights Monday

CHICAGO (WGN) — Southwest Airlines canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend, blaming the woes on air traffic control issues and weather.

The San Diego International Airport’s flight status tracker showed more than 30 trips to or from the region had been delayed or cancelled. An airport spokesperson deferred to the airline for further updates.

According to FlightAware, a website that provides real-time flight insights, Southwest has canceled over 1,000 flights on Sunday. That’s 27% of the airline’s scheduled flights on the nation’s largest domestic airline. 

Southwest said an air traffic management program put in place due to weather has caused significant delays.

“TC issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation,” it said on its Twitter account. “We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected customers, and customer service wait times are longer than usual.”

The FAA tweeted Sunday there were no staffing shortages affecting air traffic control and that “some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place.”

Passengers have said they have been given very little information from the airline, and were wondering if there was also an issue affecting Southwest’s staffing – not air traffic controllers.

“It’s only two employees, they only have two people checking you in for luggage and tickets,” customer Kasena Jackson said.

“When I got to the line they rescheduled me on a flight tonight at 9, but that one was just canceled too,” flyer Wendie Kaminski said Saturday.

Southwest Airlines became the latest U.S. airline Monday to require its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Dallas-based company said its workers must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8 in order to remain at the airline. Employees can seek approval to skip the shots due to medical or religious reasons.

Southwest said it has to mandate vaccines because of new rules from the Biden administration requiring companies with federal contracts to have vaccinated staffs. Southwest’s work for the government includes flying the military in emergencies and carrying mail for the U.S. Postal Service.

Rivals American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines and JetBlue have already told their staff they needed to be vaccinated

The Associated Press and NewsNation’s Jasmine Cooper contributed to this report.

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