Southwest Airlines cancels more than 1,800 flights over the weekend

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX at Las Vegas - McCarran International (LAS / KLAS) USA - Nevada, January 7, 2018. (Tomás Del Coro/Flickr)

Southwest Airlines canceled more than 1,800 flights over the weekend, blaming the problems on weather and air traffic control issues.

The airline, which is headquartered in Dallas, canceled 1,019 flights, or 28% of its flights, as of 4 p.m. Sunday, according to flight tracker FlightAware. The airline canceled 808 flights, or 24%, Saturday. The cancellations rank as the highest of any major U.S. or international airlines over the two-day stretch.

American Airlines canceled 143, or 4% of its flights, as of Sunday afternoon, and Spirit canceled 32 flights, or 4%.

Dallas Love Field ranked fifth in canceled departures with 49 and fourth in canceled arrivals with 56. It’s unclear which of these cancellations are Southwest flights.

Dallas-Fort Worth Airport ranked first in canceled departures with 75 and second in canceled arrivals with 80 canceled as of 4 p.m. Sunday.

Southwest Airlines said in a tweet Sunday that air traffic control issues and disruptive weather resulted in the high volume of cancellations.

But the Federal Aviation Administration said in a tweet Sunday that there have been no air traffic staffing shortages reported since Friday afternoon delays caused by weather, military training and limited staffing in one area of the Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center.

“Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place,” the tweet said, without mentioning Southwest specifically.

In a press release, The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association said the delays were not caused by any kind of organized strike among pilots, and implied that a poorly run operation may be to blame.

“Our Pilots will continue to overcome SWA management’s poor planning, as well as any external operational challenges, and remain the most productive Pilots in the world,” the release said.

Southwest’s weekend trouble is a continuation of a rough summer characterized by similar flight delays and cancellations.


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