This weekend has turned out to be a disaster for Southwest Airlines as it had to cancel nearly 2000 flights in two days alleging Air Traffic Control (ATC) issues and disruptive weather. But some sources claim the vaccine mandate for employees is the real cause of this chaos.
Russia Today (RT) reported today that Southwest Airlines cancelled over 800 flights on Saturday and around 1018 flights on Sunday, citing flight tracking data. The story included a tweet from the airline blaming “ATC issues and disruptive weather” for the large number of weekend flight cancellations.
ATC issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation. We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected Customers, and Customer Service wait times are longer than usual. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/o1scQJ5lLb
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 9, 2021
Skepticism over Explanation of Southwest Airlines
However, the RT story added that media citing “airline sources” are claiming that the big flight cancellation was the result of mass walkout or “sickout” of the air traffic controllers in Hilliard, Florida, to protest the vaccine mandate for employees recently announced by the airline. The story added that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has dismissed these claims as rumors.
Conservative news source BizPacReview (BPR) wrote that the evidence strongly suggests that the reason behind the mass cancellation of Southwest Airlines flights is a “massive anti-vaccine mandate protest.”
The BPR story included tweets of passenger responses to the Southwest Airlines tweet and called out the airline for lying to them. One tweet said:
Bull. Your own employees working at the gate in the airport told everyone standing there that cancellation was due to employee protest of the vaccine mandate.
PJ Media also questioned the official narrative of the airline and FAA in their story about the situation with Southwest flights. It wrote:
Well, the claim that weather is the culprit is absurd. Other airlines, according to the respected aviation site One Mile at a Time, are operating at near capacity.
Navy Veteran Tom Sauer, who provides mental health and addiction treatment to veterans, tweeted whether there was a media blackout on the story. PJ Media included his tweet, saying:
Hundreds of flights canceled. Walkout due to vax mandate. From a trusted source.
Sauer included an image of a text, apparently from a Southwest Airline employee, saying that Jacksonville center ATC controllers walked out last night over the vaccine mandate.
Is there a media blackout on last night’s air traffic controller walkout in Jacksonville, FL?
Hundreds of flights canceled.
Walkout due to vax mandate
From a trusted source: pic.twitter.com/kCseQMZlal
— Tom Sauer 🇺🇸 ⚓️ 💣 (@thomasbsauer) October 9, 2021