Southwest Airlines canceled at least 1,800 domestic flights and delayed another 1,500 flights over the weekend, leaving thousands of U.S. travelers stranded and scrambling to find new transportation.
The widespread operational staffing shortage, which resulted in the termination of nearly 28 percent of the airline’s scheduled flights for the day, come less than a week after the company forced the COVID-19 vaccine on employees. Speculations swirled on social media that the cancellations were due to “sickouts” by employees protesting the shot mandate.
Southwest, however, told The Federalist that attributing the cancellations to the mandate is “unfounded rumor and speculation” and claimed the cancellations were due to “weather challenges” in Florida and “unexpected air traffic control issues in the same region.”
“With fewer frequencies between cities