Advertisements


Southwest Airlines tries to refute ‘sickout’ after thousands of flights canceled over the weekend

The airline, its pilots’ union and the Federal Aviation Administration denied flight disruptions resulted from pilots and air traffic controllers walking off their jobs or calling in sick to protest federal vaccination requirements.The airline, its pilots’ union and the Federal Aviation Administration denied flight disruptions resulted from pilots and air traffic controllers walking off their jobs or calling in sick to protest federal vaccination requirements......»»

Category: topSource: chicagotribuneOct 13th, 2021

Southwest"s weekend meltdown wasn"t due to a vaccine protest, its pilots union says

Southwest Airlines canceled nearly 2,000 flights over the weekend due to staffing shortages and scheduling issues, not a pilot protest. Southwest Airlines pilot Mike Stewart/AP Southwest Airlines canceled nearly 2,000 flights over the weekend due to staffing shortages. High-profile public figures incorrectly suggested the shortages were due to an anti-vax walkout. The company's pilot union said flight crews were not participating in a protest. Southwest Airlines canceled nearly 2,000 flights over the weekend due to a confluence of severe weather and air traffic control issues, leaving thousands of travelers stranded. The company's pilots union said the issues were not due to a pilot protest, dispelling misleading tweets from high-profile public figures, including Republican lawmakers. -Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 9, 2021The Federal Aviation Administration added that a military training exercise and limited staffing at one control tower exacerbated the issue for a few hours on Friday, but that the problems did not cause the ripple effect into the weekend."Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place," the agency said Sunday. -The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) October 10, 2021 The weekend meltdown came just a day after the airline's pilot union asked a court to block the company from carrying out President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate while a lawsuit over an alleged labor laws violation is disputed. The union argued the federal order violates the Railway Labor Act, which controls airline-union relations.The previous week, Southwest had announced all employees must be vaccinated by November 24.Headlines about the new rules and friction with its union prompted a handful of public figures to incorrectly suggest flight crews were calling out of work in an anti-vax protest."Joe Biden's illegal vaccine mandate at work! Suddenly, we're short on pilots & air traffic controllers," Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, tweeted Sunday.-Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 10, 2021Meanwhile, former Fox News producer Jillian Anderson, conservative author Brigitte Gabriel, and podcast host Jesse Kelly also pushed the narrative, with Kelly saying "cancel my flights -- continue the fight." -Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) October 10, 2021-Jillian Anderson (@Jillie_Alexis) October 11, 2021 The union rebutted the swirling false information, saying Saturday its pilots were not participating in any "official or unofficial job actions," which could refer to a strike, sickout, or walkout. "SWAPA is aware of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airlines today due to a number of issues, but we can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions," it said." 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 union said in a statement.Southwest echoed SWAPA and emphasized that the flight disruptions were due to bad weather and ATC issues in Florida."The weekend challenges were not a result of Employee demonstrations, as some have reported," Southwest told Insider.Flight disruptions due to staffing shortages and weather are nothing new in the airline industry, where small blips in highly coordinated schedules can cause cascading delays.In a note to staff seen by CNBC, Southwest executive vice president of daily flight operations Alan Kasher said displaced pilots, coupled with federal and contractual working limits, can cause a quick snowball effect.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 11th, 2021

Southwest"s "spider web-like" route map is why flights as far as California were canceled due to weather in Florida - here"s how it works

Southwest Airlines' cancellations have affected travelers across the US, not just in Florida, due to its point-to-point operations. A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 aircraft. Chris Parypa Photography/shutterstock Southwest Airlines' cancellations have affected travelers across the US, not just in Florida. The reason goes back to Southwest's "point-to-point" route network that differs from other airlines. A flight between two cities in California can be impacted by bad weather in Florida, for example. The worst of Southwest Airlines' Columbus Day weekend meltdown appears to be over as cancellations are dwindling. As of Thursday morning, only 30 flights have been canceled for the day, according to flight tracking company FlightAware, down from thousands in the combined days prior. But the weekend's events have left some flyers in regions as far as the West Coast wondering why their flights were canceled when bad weather and air traffic control issues in Florida were to initially blame. The reason traces back to how Southwest schedules flights across its nationwide route network that differs from many of its competitors. "Southwest operates a very complex spider web-like point-to-point route network," Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst and president of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider. "A flight, let's say, from Florida to California may make multiple stops along the way, like a proverbial puddle jumper."The point-to-point strategy has proved effective in allowing the airline to serve a greater number of US cities without having to contract regional airlines, as is the default of the major airlines when serving low-demand markets. Meltdowns like the one experienced over Columbus Day weekend are few and far between. Major carriers including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines alternatively operate what's known as a "hub-and-spoke" route network. Each airline has a handful of hubs across the US from where flights will usually arrive or depart. Most Delta Air Lines flights, for example, will start or end in either New York, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Boston, Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, or Raleigh, North Carolina.Southwest, while having bases at airports across the US, will send aircraft hopscotching across the country and to its international destinations. Examples of its point-to-point routes include Sacramento, California to Ontario, California; Raleigh to Tampa, Florida; and Long Island, New York to West Palm Beach, Florida. "If there is bad weather in Florida and a flight is canceled, it can cascade down that flight and affect flights between points that are hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles away from where the bad weather took place," Harteveldt said. Southwest also offers "one-stop, no plane change" flights where passengers on through flights can stay on board the aircraft during these intermediary stops. New cleaning procedures during the pandemic, however, require passengers to disembark.However, the network strategy can fall apart during periods of "irregular operations," such s bad weather, if not promptly corrected, as evidenced by the weekend's events. And that could leave customers flying between San Francisco and Los Angeles, for example, without an aircraft. "What is clear is: Southwest does not have a good set of strategies to anticipate, manage and recover from weather disruptions and other causes of irregular operations," Harteveldt said. "Southwest knew that there was bad weather that would hit the central US last week, they knew that there was going to be bad weather in Florida. They should have been able to make arrangements for those events, perhaps pre-canceling flights."Southwest told Insider that the event was exacerbated by the conservative approach to staffing that resulted from the pandemic."Going forward, we're continually assessing our operational plan with staffing in mind," a Southwest spokesperson said in a statement to Insider. "We're continuing to aggressively hire; we've reduced our planned flying through this lens in the past and we won't hesitate to do it again. We want to give our people maximum flexibility to recover during these wider-scale disruptions."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

Southwest Airlines is sending vouchers of up to $250 to passengers stranded by the recent flight chaos, a report says

Southwest is dishing out the vouchers on top of refunds after it canceled thousands of flights, citing weather and air traffic control problems. Southwest said it canceled the flights because of a combination of severe weather and air traffic control issues. Southwest Airlines Southwest Airlines is issuing vouchers to passengers whose flights were canceled, USA Today reported. Vouchers ranged from $100 to $250, the publication reported. These were on top of refunds. Southwest canceled thousands of flights last weekend because of weather and air traffic control problems. Southwest Airlines has been handing out vouchers of up to $250 to passengers who were stranded when it canceled more than 3,000 flights last weekend, USA Today first reported.The airline started emailing affected passengers on Wednesday evening, saying that it would send vouchers, the publication reported."We're so sorry for the disappointment this disruption caused and want a chance to make it up to you," Southwest said in an email to a customer viewed by USA Today. The airline told the customer it would give them a $100 voucher, per USA Today.Passengers told USA Today their vouchers had varied between $100 and $250. Passengers who had frequent flyer status or who were persistent in asking for a voucher or reimbursement appeared to get higher-value vouchers, USA Today reported.The vouchers are in addition to flight refunds, which airlines are mandated to pay when they cancel flights and rebooking options either aren't available or are rejected by customers.A Southwest spokesperson told the publication that affected passengers should automatically get their voucher but that it "might be slower than usual due to the number of customers we are processing."Passengers told USA Today that in some cases they had to fork out for flights with alternative airlines and extra accommodation after their Southwest flights were canceled. Twitter users made similar remarks, and some said that the Southwest vouchers didn't cover the extra expenses.The spokesperson said that Southwest reviewed each case individually, and took into account the length of the delay, the quality of accommodation available, and flight cancellations when determining how much the vouchers would be worth.Southwest did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Southwest previously said it canceled the flights because of a combination of severe weather and problems with air traffic control. Both the company's pilots union and the Federal Aviation Administration disputed reports that it had canceled the flights because of staff protests over its vaccine mandate.The airline is requiring its more than 54,000 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 24, though staff can apply for disability, medical, and religious exemptions.Separately, United Airlines said that 232 of its employees were being fired for not complying with its vaccine mandate.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly: When An Airline Falls Behind, It’s Hard To Catch Up

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) Chairman & CEO Gary Kelly on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) today, Tuesday, October 12. Following are links to video on CNBC.com: Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Southwest CEO: When An Airline Falls Behind, It’s […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) Chairman & CEO Gary Kelly on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) today, Tuesday, October 12. Following are links to video on CNBC.com: .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Southwest CEO: When An Airline Falls Behind, It’s Hard To Catch Up Southwest CEO On The Airline’s Covid Vaccine Push, Flight Fiasco JIM CRAMER: Southwest shares are edging higher this morning, thank heavens. The airline is hoping to normalize the schedule by tomorrow. Normalize is an odd term because I expect normal from Southwest. The wave of cancellations in the past few days, wave in cancellations let’s go back earlier in the spring. This is suboptimal. So, joining us now is Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly. Gary, I got to tell you, you do not shy away. I said you got to come on and here you are. Gary, because you are so good and so deserving of the respect, could you please tell us what you see going on because this is not you and it's not southwest. GARY KELLY: Hey, morning Jim. Great to be with you. Yeah, I know it's been a really rough weekend and obviously I really feel for our customers and our people that are trying their best to serve our customers but when an airline gets behind, it's hard to catch up. So, if you go back to Friday, basically the FAA had a series of delay programs that were implemented that covered all of Florida, every single one of our stations including a seven-hour ground stop at Orlando. You'll have to ask the FAA what was the cause of all of that, but about half of our airplanes touch the state of Florida. We’re one of the largest airlines in the country. So, by the end of the day we had significant numbers of airplanes and flight crews that were totally out of position and as any, again, any aviation expert knows it just takes several days to get everything back aligned so we had a pretty good day yesterday. Far fewer cancellations than what we were experiencing Saturday and Sunday. And today was pretty much shaping up to be a normal day. As usual we have other issues that we have to deal with whether it's weather or other ATC delays across the country but for the most part, today's pretty much back to normal. CRAMER: Okay, Gary, I understand that the weather-related issues. Florida didn't really see that much cancellations from other companies in your industry, but there's a lawsuit that was filed, filed Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, it’s in the Northern District of Texas. And what disturbed me about it, this was earlier this year, is they say that basically you're using illegal tactics are a form of asymmetrical warfare negotiations. Gary, Gary, you know when you read this and then you read about the Texas governor says, listen we can't, we're gonna be against mandates. I see. Well, wait, wait a second, maybe vaccines are an issue, maybe labor problems of which Southwest Air has not historically had so you understand how we quickly just pivot from Florida and FAA to wondering what happened here with the pilots? KELLY: Well yeah, again, I think that we're uniquely affected because we have so many of our flights that touch Florida. All the airlines were impacted on Friday, it was just more of an impact on us and it just took us longer to recover. But all of our employees worked very hard through the weekend and it's, it's tough on our customers but it's also tough on our people so they did a phenomenal job. There's absolutely no, no issue in working with our employees. Talking about the vaccine mandate, oh yeah, I mean there are some that have very strong views on both sides of that issue and, you know, it's not as I think you probably know, I've never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate. I'm not in favor of that, never have been. But the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees and then all federal contractors which covers all the major airlines have to have a mandate vaccine in place by December the eighth so we're working through that. We're urging all of our employees to get vaccinated. If they can't, we're urging them to seek an accommodation either for medical or religious reasons and my goal obviously is that no one loses their job. The objective here obviously is to improve health and safety, not for people to lose their jobs. So, yes, we have some very strong views on that topic but that's not what was at issue with Southwest over the weekend. CRAMER: Alright but I still want to go over this. United has only 3% people who are not vaccinated. Delta, you have a $200 monthly surcharge healthcare if you don't get vaccinated. What do you have to make it so people get vaccinated and if they don't, what is the procedure? KELLY: We're encouraging them and we're offering the equivalent of two days pay for them to turn in their vaccination card that compensates them obviously for the time that it takes and any aftereffects, you know, from the vaccine. So, it's an encouragement and not, not any kind of a stick if you will. CARL QUINTANILLA: Gary, all the same, the, the cancellations are being used by some to argue that this was a huge vaccine protest in the words of Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter in the past 24 hours. I mean, how much can you push back on that? You say it was not an issue but to what degree did it contribute to this problem at all? KELLY: Zero. I mean, again, we look at all of our employee behaviors in terms of absenteeism, in terms of people volunteering to come in and pick up what's referred to as open time, and they're very, they're all very normal. The president of our pilots union has been out talking to the media confirming all of that so I think people again that, that understand how airlines work, when you get behind, it just takes several days to catch up and the fact that we're basically caught up yesterday and today supports, you know, the, the assertion that we're making here but we were significantly set behind on Friday and it just takes several days to catch up. CRAMER: Gary, I feel awful doing this but I got to go back in June. Two days, technical issues, 500 flights canceled. I want to step back for a second. You’re Southwest Air. I frankly don't care that there were problems with Florida, with FAA, you’re Southwest Air. You solve these things. You have two outages, again, you had one in June. Maybe Southwest Air has to change its ways that it can't be just shut down because of what Orlando, maybe you shouldn't do that maybe you need to go more hub and spoke. This is your, your airline and everyone knows, never, never, no cancellations, no problems. The fact that I have to ask about labor, the fact that I have to ask about the outages, something's wrong at Southwest Air. KELLY: Well I think very fair criticism Jim and so I was simply answering the question of what happened here over the weekend, you know, not whether we should have been better prepared or have done something differently. So, we operate a linear route network, we don’t hub and spoke. We’re the probably the largest airline in terms of seats offered in the state of Florida. Again, every single airport in the state of Florida was impacted by this. So, it's, it's very unique. It's very unusual. It wasn't anything that Southwest caused. If you go back to the June outage, that was, that was us. That was a technology outage and those are, those are few and far between. But it's been a rough summer and I'm not offering any excuses. Our customers didn't get their best from Southwest Airlines is not what we want. We definitely are, we definitely have some staffing challenges as well that we've talked about before so we have moderated our flight schedule and accelerated our hiring plans so there were definitely steps underway to, to mitigate the issue. We were thinly staffed coming into the weekend and that certainly didn't help things as we were trying to recover but point well taken, and, you know, it's, as usual, any company is a work in progress and we've always got opportunities to improve and you get no argument from me that this is not, not the kind of service that we want to offer from Southwest. CRAMER: Fair enough. DAVID FABER: Hey Gary, it’s David. I mean when, when it comes then to those opportunities to improve, where is your, and by the way the next CEO, where is the focus going to be on that improvement given what you've seen both this weekend and obviously from June? I know not necessarily related, separate issues but still. KELLY: Yeah not related at all but I think in the, in this particular case, it would help for us to have better tools to recover. So, there, there aren't perfect optimization tools to re-flow airplanes when we have a setback like we did on Friday. And then, secondly, there's technology that's required to reschedule our flight crews, so we have flight attendants, we have pilots, we have airplanes and once it gets behind, it's just difficult to get that back together so I think the opportunity is to improve on that process. It's called repair. It's complicated, but we definitely have some good opportunities there, you know, for the future. QUINTANILLA: Gary, finally there's some commentary from some of the other carriers today about the holiday season, preparing for robust travel period. Are you seeing that kind of booking in Q4? KELLY: Yeah, I think, you know, on the business side of things, you have the Delta variant, the surge in cases that occurred, you know, beginning back in June and then eventually that has an impact on air travel and it suffers so that wave has turned over and we've definitely seen some improvement in, in bookings there so yeah we're looking forward to a strong holiday season. And we just want to be very focused on offering a high-quality schedule and experience for our customers. CRAMER: I want to go deeper on this weather issue. IBM has a weather product, the Wall Street Journal seemed to indicate that maybe it was not up to snuff. There are questions about whether you had spent enough money on IT during the 500 flight cancellation in June. Are you underspending on IT and have you over furloughed and therefore having trouble getting people back? KELLY: All great questions. I think the answer is, you know, a very emphatic no, we're not underspending. We suspended investing in some of our initiatives early on when the pandemic first unfolded in March, but we very quickly got back on track once the CARES Act Payroll Support Program came through and made sure that we continue to make those investments. The two technology outages that occurred back in June were human error so it wasn't a lack of technological capability, it was simply, in one case, not adhering to a procedure. So, it happens to companies, you know, occasionally we just don't want it to happen very often and obviously every time something like that happens, we, we tried to learn from it. We've deployed new technology for reservations, we're in the process of deploying new maintenance, record keeping software that supports all of our aircraft, one of the largest projects we've ever undertaken, probably the largest deployment in the airline industry in history. So, we have wonderful technology, we have a wonderful technology department. They’re, they're very well resourced. I think what like a lot of companies, we definitely are having some hiring challenges. We're trying to get 5,000 people hired by the end of this year, we're about halfway there. But overall technology's in pretty good shape in terms of staffing and for the most part, our staffing challenges have moderated. I’d still like to have more cushion in the operation so we can absorb the kind of blow that we saw last Friday better. CRAMER: Alright, thank you Gary Kelly, Chairman & CEO of Southwest Air. Good luck to you sir. Appreciate you coming on “Squawk on the Street.” KELLY: Thank you sir. You bet. Updated on Oct 12, 2021, 1:14 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 12th, 2021

Here"s what to do if your Southwest Airlines flight is canceled, as the airline eliminates hundreds of more flights on Monday

Airline passengers have rights when flights are canceled and it can mean the difference between getting stranded and getting home. Southwest Airlines passengers checking in for their flight. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights last weekend that left some passengers stranded. Travelers with canceled flights are owed a refund and can push for hotel stays and alternate travel. Trip insurance can help get expenses reimbursed if it's due to a flight delay or cancelation. Southwest Airlines is still canceling flights after a weekend meltdown during which more than 1,700 flights were cut from the schedule.At least 365 flights have already been canceled for Monday, according to flight tracking company FlightAware, and more may be on the horizon as the airline recovers from a chaotic weekend. There's no foolproof method to avoid being stranded when flight cancellations and delays strike, but travelers should take precautions before heading to the airport to increase their chances of resolving airline-related issues. Here are 5 tips to deal with delayed and canceled flights. Know how to contact an airline A Southwest airport agent helping a passenger. Patrick T. Fallon /AFP/Getty Images At the airport, airline gate staff and customer service agents can help rebook flights in the event of a cancellation or delay. Travelers should find the closest customer service center as early as possible. Airline phone numbers are also available on their websites and apps; it can be worth saving those numbers into your phone's contact book ahead of time. Southwest's customer service phone number is 1-800-435-9792. The call center is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Southwest's baggage service phone number is 1-888-202-1024, group travel is 1-800-433-8747, and the Spanish language phone number is 1-800-826-6667. Social media also can be a useful resource - sending an early direct message to Southwest's Twitter can act as a virtual placeholder on the customer service line. Use an airline's mobile app or website to rebook Southwest Airlines' mobile application. Brenda Rocha - Blossom/Shutterstock.com Airlines have made it easier for passengers to rebook with a mobile app. Flight change fees will be waived in those cases and travelers, in theory, should be able to find and book backup flights. During high-traffic periods including ones following airline meltdowns, however, availability might be scarce as thousands of fellow passengers are also trying to rebook. If online means of rebooking aren't being helpful, talking to an airline representative is the next best bet. Know your traveler rights Southwest Airlines passengers checking in for their flight. Scott Olson/Getty Images Airlines must provide a refund to travelers who cancel their bookings outright, according to the Department of Transportation.Travel credits offered by the airline can often only be used on that airline, while a refund gives travelers additional freedom, whether it be to scrap a trip outright or rebook with a different airline. However, the airline may not be inclined to help once a booking is fully canceled and refunded.Travelers can also request vouchers for meals and hotel stays if the disruption to a trip is severe. In the latest case, Southwest is blaming issues outside of its control, however, so passengers might be limited in what they can get.Understand travel insurance and credit card coverage The Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum travel credit cards. Jenny Cheng/Business Insider Certain travel credit cards including the Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum Card have built-in trip insurance when you book with those cards. One event that may apply is if you can't reach your destination for at least 24 hours "due to severe weather (or another covered reason)," traveler insurer Allianz's website reads. But not all policies require a 24-hour delay. The "trip delay reimbursement" benefit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve provides reimbursement if your travel is delayed more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stay.This reporter used the reimbursement policy on a recent trip and was covered for all expenses. Settle in for a long wait - and know when to jump ship An airline traveler making a phone call. Phil Walter / Getty Remember that airlines will be handling the same issues for thousands of customers, as well as trying to return to its normal schedule. Long lines and waits will be incredibly common. Travelers might consider alternate means of transportation if flying doesn't look immediately possible. A rebooked flight might also be canceled or delayed as the airline gets back on its feet. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 11th, 2021

Southwest"s weekend meltdown shows airlines are still vulnerable to massive disruptions - and hints at what holiday travel might look like

Airlines have been trying to scale up flights from the worst of the pandemic but Southwest's meltdown shows that airlines are still fragile. A number of grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are shown parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California Reuters Southwest Airlines is still recovering from its weekend meltdown with cancellations continuing into the week. Airlines have been experiencing these meltdowns during the pandemic after scaling down in 2020. Holiday travel may be impacted as airlines have proven they're still highly vulnerable to disruptions. Southwest Airlines is still recovering from a dizzying Columbus Day travel weekend mired by thousands of flights cancellations that stranded passengers across the country.America's largest low-cost carrier initially warned of cancellations on Saturday, placing the blame on "air traffic control issues" and bad weather. The ripple effects are still impacting the airline as of Monday and flight-tracking company FlightAware shows 365 canceled flights, or 9% of its planned schedule, and 713 delayed flights, another 20% of its planned schedule, at the time of writing. Residual cancellations will subside as more time passes from the incident but the meltdown casts doubt on the ability of airlines to handle upcoming holiday travel. Americans will likely be taking to the skies en masse for the winter holidays and some airlines have proven that they're still vulnerable to these types of disruptions. "The system's a little more brittle because there's less spare capacity, that's just the nature of the beast," Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at Teal Group, told Insider. "And that's another reason to be more concerned about weather events."Extreme weather events including thunderstorms have been the catalyst for airline meltdowns in months past and winter brings its own challenges. Weather incidents like snowstorms, when combined with the reduced workforce airlines are experiencing, can quickly see an airline spiral into delays and cancellations. Some airlines are already touting how much flying they're planning for the holiday season. United Airlines, for example, plans to fly 91% of its 2019 December domestic schedule this December.United, for its part, has been largely spared of these operational nightmares and cites its decision not to furlough pilots during the pandemic as the reason. Southwest's weekend meltdown isn't the first time the airline has had to cancel a chunk of its scheduled flying during the pandemic. The recovery can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and takes longer during high-traffic periods. "The system isn't designed to flex the way it's been flexing over the last year and a half," Aboulafia said. "We've never had to scale down and up as a system the way we have this time. It's hard."Airlines have also had a harder time deciphering demand trends as vaccination rates across the country remain slow-growing, according to Aboulafia. Many travelers didn't hesitate to take to the skies in 2020 but some may reconsider holiday travel to destinations with large rates of unvaccinated residents. "Sometimes these things are hard to anticipate, everything can't always be in sync," Aboulafia said, noting that airlines had no choice but to scale down during the worst of the pandemic when demand dropped by around 66%.Flyers can take proactive measures including staying near customer services centers ahead of scheduled flights, having multiple ways of contacting an airline to rebook a canceled flight, researching potential backup flights, and understand their travel insurance coverage (including insurance that's included with certain travel credit cards).Beyond that, Aboulafia says that "there's not a lot you can do to hedge against [disruptions] except allow for some flexibility." Delta Air Lines was the victim of bad weather and staffing issues during 2020's holiday season that saw around 500 flight cancellations around the Christmas travel rush. Aboulafia also recommends that travelers consider an airline's geography when booking holiday travel, as airlines are stronger at their hubs and can recover quicker in the event of a disruption. Dallas, for example, is an American Airlines and Southwest stronghold while Boston has a large JetBlue Airways and Delta presence. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 11th, 2021

Southwest Airlines cancels more than 1,000 flights due to "disruptive weather"

The airline has been experiencing a "high level of cancellations" caused by hazardous weather conditions. Stephen M. Keller/Southwest Airlines Southwest Airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights on Sunday, leaving customers stranded. The cancellations were caused by air traffic control problems and weather, according to the airline. 1,007 flights were canceled and 383 have been delayed on Sunday, according to the flight tracking website Flight Aware. Southwest Airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights, leaving hundreds of customers stranded.The cancellations started on Saturday and went into Sunday and were caused by air traffic control problems and weather, according to a statement released by the airline on Twitter.1,007 flights were canceled and 383 have been delayed on Sunday morning as of publishing, according to the flight tracking website Flight Aware. 808 flights, nearly 25% of the airline's total flights that day, were canceled by the airline Saturday. Southwest also experienced almost 1,200 delays on Saturday as well, Flight Aware reported. "ATC issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation," Southwest Tweeted on Saturday. "We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected Customers, and Customer Service wait times are longer than usual."-Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 9, 2021However, several Southwest passengers have voiced concerns online that the delays are the result of pilots and crewmembers striking after the airline issued a coronavirus vaccine mandate for its employees. Southwest did not respond to Insider's request to comment on the claims of the rumored strike online. Recently airlines like JetBlue, Spirit, and American Airlines have come under fire by customers after issuing mass delays and cancellations in the US. Last month, United Airlines was fined $1.9 million by the Department of Transportation for keeping thousands of passengers stuck on planes for hours, in violation of federal rules, Insider reported. It was the largest penalty of its kind, according to Reuters.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 10th, 2021

Southwest Airlines" CEO issued a formal apology to customers after delays left them stranded for hours over the weekend: "This is not the experience you deserve"

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly issued a formal apology to customers on Thursday after its weekend meltdown that impacted thousands of passengers. Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly Southwest Airlines Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly issued a formal apology for the company's weekend meltdown. He addressed customers and employees directly, apologizing for the negative impact the breakdown had. Company COO Mike Van de Ven explained why the chaos happened and asked customers to give Southwest another chance. Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly issued a formal apology to customers on Thursday after its weekend meltdown that impacted thousands of passengers.Via Twitter, Kelly apologized for Southwest's disastrous meltdown over Columbus Day weekend that separated families and ruined vacations. He addressed the company's employees, emphasizing his appreciation for their hard work during the breakdown, as well as the customers, who he said didn't deserve what happened.-Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 14, 2021 Southwest chief commercial officer Mike Van de Ven also provided a statement to customers extending a sincere apology and emphasizing the importance of taking care of customers when things go wrong."Let me begin with our heartfelt apology to everyone whose travel was disrupted by these events: we are truly sorry," he said. "I fully realize that any attempt at an explanation falls short of our ultimate goal of delivering you to your destination on time with our typical Southwest hospitality."He also implored customers to consider giving Southwest another chance."We are doing our best to proactively reach out to customers whose travel plans were impacted to offer our apologies and invite them to give us another chance to earn their business," Van de Ven said.In the letter, Van de Ven also included an explanation of why the meltdown happened, which he said started with air traffic control issues and weather in Florida on Friday that created a ripple effect impacting its entire point-top-point network. Van de Van said that the disruptions in Florida, which is where nearly 50% of its flights start and end each day and a quarter of its crew assignments are located, displaced its crews and aircraft.Orlando is one of Southwest's largest crew bases, and its seven-hour closure on Friday prevented aircraft, pilots, and flight attendants from moving through the system. Van de Van explained that because of this, flight crews could not get to their pre-planned positions. The airline got so out of order on Friday that the out-of-place resources cascaded through Tuesday, causing over 3,000 cancellations, according to Van de Ven.Chicago-area bride Kimberli Romano was one of the many people impacted by Southwest's meltdown. The airline canceled her parents' flight to her wedding in Las Vegas and the family was unable to find another flight in time for the ceremony. "It's the most important day of my life thus far and I didn't have a single family member present at my wedding," Romano told CBS Chicago.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

: No, it wasn’t a pilot ‘sickout’: Here’s what was really behind Southwest’s flight disruptions over the weekend

Southwest Airlines Co.'s weekend of canceled flights was made worse by the deep cuts the airline and others had to make on their flight schedules and it is likely to add to the airline's labor strains and costs......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchOct 13th, 2021

GOP lawmakers and Trump praised a Southwest Airlines anti-vaccine mandate walkout which authorities say never happened

Conservatives praised Southwest pilots for what they claimed was a vax mandate protest. The airline says the cancellations were caused by the weather. Sen. Ted Cruz. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Conservatives claimed recent Southwest flight cancellations were linked to a staff anti-vaccine mandate protest. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz were among those pushing the rumor. Southwest's CEO and the FAA said the cancellations were actually due to technical issues and bad weather. Conservatives are heaping praise on what they claim was an anti-vaccine mandate protest by Southwest Airlines pilots, which authorities say didn't happen.Southwest canceled thousands of flights last weekend, citing bad weather in Florida and air traffic control issues.But former President Donald Trump, GOP lawmakers, and right-wing media personalities have for days been pushing unsubstantiated rumors that the cancellations were the result of a walkout by staff protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates.As flight cancellations began on Saturday, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas claimed without evidence that the situation was actually due to staff shortages linked to the vaccine mandates."Joe Biden's illegal vaccine mandate at work. Suddenly, we're short on pilots & air traffic controllers," he tweeted. Donald Trump Jr, the former president's eldest son, also linked cancellations to a staff vaccine protest in a Sunday tweet."The fact that thousands of Southwest employees walked off the job protesting the COVID vaccine mandate forcing the airline to cancel more than 1000 flights is not getting enough attention. Media will make sure you don't see it but keep watching, it won't be the last protest!" Trump Jr. said.And in a Sunday radio interview, Donald Trump himself speculated that the flight cancellations had to do with staff protesting his election loss last year, as well as vaccine mandates. "I think it has a lot to do with a lot of things. I think it has something to do with the election that was rigged," he said in a radio interview this weekend. "I think these are big fans of your favorite president, I think that this has something to do with that. I think it has something to do with the ... I think it has a lot to do with mandates." A Southwest Boeing 737-800 plane. Steven M. Keller According to the rumors, the cancellations were the result of staff calling in sick en masse in protest at the vaccine mandates. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association had filed a federal court request last Friday for the mandate to be blocked. Southwest, its pilots' union, and the Federal Aviation Authority have denied that there is any truth to the rumors. In a Tuesday CNBC appearance, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said vaccine mandates had "zero" relation to the flight cancellations. "We have some very strong views on that topic, but that's not what was at issue with Southwest over the weekend," said Kelly. Casey Murray, the president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, told The New York Times that the real reason for the cancellations was that there had been problems reassigning thinly-stretched staff to new flights.The Federal Aviation Authority also hit back at the rumors."To be clear: None of the information from Southwest, its pilots union, or the FAA indicates that this weekend's cancellations were related to vaccine mandates," it tweeted.Republicans have for months been seeking to damage Biden by attacking COVID-19 vaccine mandates issued by his administration. The mandates were issued over the summer, amid lagging vaccination rates, for federal workers, contractors, and employees of large companies, and have yet to come into effect. Southwest has said it will require staff to follow the mandate and get fully vaccinated by November 24, with exemptions for religious and medical reasons. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 13th, 2021

Southwest Airlines apologizes for operational meltdown that canceled thousands of flights

Southwest Airlines is still cleaning up after a domino-effect operational meltdown this weekend led to the cancelation of more than 2,000 flights, and delays of thousands more. CEO Gary Kelly apologized Tuesday on Good Morning America to passengers affected by the Dallas-based airline’s schedule debacle, which Southwest has blamed on weather and Air Traffic Control issues on Friday. The airline said that the Friday cancellations and delays left aircraft and crews out of pre-planned positions….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsOct 12th, 2021

: ‘No, it wasn’t a ‘sickout’; Here’s what happened with Southwest over the weekend

Southwest Airlines Co.'s weekend of canceled flights was made worse by the deep cuts the airline and others had to make on their flight schedules and it is likely to add to the airline's labor strains and costs......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchOct 12th, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Texas amps up vaccine fight

And Insider is suing the Biden administration for secret Trump and Pence staffing records. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com.Here's what we're talking about:Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order barring private companies in Texas from mandating COVID-19 vaccinesInsider is suing the Biden administration for secret Trump and Pence staffing recordsStephanie Grisham doesn't want forgiveness. She just wants to stop Trump from winning again.With Phil Rosen. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas at the annual National Rifle Association convention in May 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo 1. A TEXAS-SIZE FIGHT: Texas is ready to mess with President Joe Biden over vaccines. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's declaration outlawing all private companies from imposing vaccine mandates sets him and his state on a collision course with the federal government, further raising the tension between the White House and Republican governors over pandemic policy.Here's what you need to know:Legal experts expect Biden to win this fight: ​​"I would not take it seriously as a legal measure," a University of Texas law professor, Sanford Levinson, told The Dallas Morning News, "unless very surprisingly this argument that Biden just doesn't have the power, that the Labor Department just doesn't have the power, prevails - and I don't think that's the case."Another Texas law professor had this to add: Steve Vladeck/Twitter This is about a lot more than Texas: American Airlines, the nation's largest carrier, is based in Fort Worth; Southwest Airlines also calls the state home. Large numbers of Alphabet and Facebook employees are also in Texas, per Reuters. Both tech companies have pledged to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. And Mark Cuban's Dallas Mavericks are among the NBA teams requiring fans to be fully vaccinated or show a negative test. All of these entities would now appear to be under conflicting federal and state orders on vaccines.Abbott's action shows where the right stands: Texas has been among the conservative vanguard in pandemic policies. But even that was not enough to please some of Abbott's primary challengers, who felt the governor's previous ban on vaccine mandates by local governments did not go far enough.This is also a flip-flop for Abbott: As The Texas Tribune points out, his office made it pretty explicit in August that it didn't believe this was necessary. A representative for Abbott said then that "private businesses don't need government running their business."Check out how one of Abbott's primary challengers responded: Don Huffines/Twitter Other serious vaccine-related challenges remain: "Experts in vaccine behavior fear that the country is bumping up against the ceiling of persuadable people," The New York Times reports. Here are where things stand in the US's vaccination efforts.2. Democrats are set to slash Biden's $300 billion plan to build millions of homes: The White House hoped to fight the housing crisis with its $3.5 trillion social-spending package, but opposition from Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema has forced Democrats to shrink the plan. And as party leaders prepare a revised package, $300 billion set aside for housing aid is under siege. Overall, the funds could create more than 2 million new homes, according to estimates from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. More on the Democratic infighting over what to keep and what to cut from the $3.5 trillion spending plan.3. Insider sues Biden administration over Trump's records: The lawsuit seeks to compel the General Services Administration to provide the names of nine staff members who worked for Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the months after they left office. In response to previous requests, the agency released the names of some staffers who continued to work for Trump and Pence, including the Trump aides Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino. More on Insider's fight to reveal how taxpayer money is being spent. Jon Gruden. AP Photo/Rick Scuteri 4. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resigns amid email scandal: Gruden, who was already under fire for using racist language in a 2011 email, resigned Monday after additional messages came to light showing he called the NFL's commissioner, Roger Goodell, a "pussy" and mocked the gay NFL draftee Michael Sam. Gruden's messages, described by The New York Times, were said to be sent to Bruce Allen, then the president of the Washington Football Team, when Gruden worked for ESPN. The NFL obtained more than 650,000 emails from Washington as part of a massive investigation into the franchise's culture. Here's how the latest revelation is playing out across the NFL.5. Stephanie Grisham doesn't want forgiveness: Grisham, the former high-level Trump aide who published a searing tell-all, told Insider she's "under no illusions" that critics would forgive her for the prominent role she played in Trump's White House. Instead, she wants to stop Trump from winning in 2024, warning that a victorious Trump's "first thought process is going to be revenge and retribution." More on what Grisham says is ahead, including why Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump might not return to the White House. Southwest Boeing 737-800. Steven M. Keller 6. Southwest cancels hundreds of more flights: Southwest canceled more than 350 flights on Monday, continuing a difficult stretch for the airline that it has blamed on weather and air-traffic-control issues, the Associated Press reports. The Federal Aviation Administration did push back on Southwest's claim about air-traffic-control issues, saying "some airlines" had issues getting their crews in the right place. Here's where things stand as stranded passengers try to get home.There's no evidence this has anything to do with vaccines: The FAA, Southwest, and a union representing Southwest pilots have said there's no evidence of worker protests to Southwest's vaccine mandate.7. Evergrande crisis continues to spook markets: Markets expect the deeply troubled Chinese company to miss its third round of bond payments in three weeks, Reuters reports. Traders are now turning their attention to other distressed developers as worries about a wide fallout continue to escalate.8. Kim Jong Un touts North Korean military might: Kim used a rare public display of the country's weapons to try to divide the US from South Korea while accusing the US of "continuing to create tensions in the region with its wrong judgments and actions," the AP reports. North Korea has sent a series of mixed signals in recent weeks.9. A COVID-19 pill took its next step toward becoming a reality: Merck requested FDA authorization for its pill, the next step toward rolling it out to the public. Merck and its fellow developer Ridgeback Biotherapeutics say the pill "significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization or death" from COVID-19 in a late-stage trial. If cleared, it would be the first oral antiviral in use for COVID-19.10. Bond is underperforming at the box office. The latest James Bond film, "No Time To Die," is the first sign of turbulence for the latest wave of blockbuster hopefuls. The action film earned $56 million in its US opening weekend, below some analysts' expectations. This could hint at trouble for would-be hits in a crowded Hollywood market that is still recovering from the pandemic. And yet, Bond is performing up to par globally.Today's trivia question: The Bidens attended their nephew's wedding to the reality-TV star Meghan King on Monday. Who is the first and only president to get married at the White House?Yesterday's answer: Teddy Roosevelt was the first president and first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize when he won in 1906 for negotiating peace in the Russo-Japanese War.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 12th, 2021

: Southwest’s flight disruptions are just the latest headache for airlines

Southwest Airlines Co.'s weekend of canceled flights was made worse by the deep cuts the airline and others had to make on their flight schedules and it is likely to add to the airline's labor strains and costs......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchOct 11th, 2021

Southwest Cancelled 1,000 Flights Over Bad Weather, Arising Suspicion On Twitter

Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) canceled more than 1,000 flights on Sunday claiming bad weather and operational issues due to traffic. However, users on Twitter including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, were suspicious the pilot union had attempted to block the airline’s Covid vaccination policy via legal proceedings. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Vaccination […] Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) canceled more than 1,000 flights on Sunday claiming bad weather and operational issues due to traffic. However, users on Twitter including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, were suspicious the pilot union had attempted to block the airline’s Covid vaccination policy via legal proceedings. .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Vaccination Mandate According to Fox Business, the airline said cancellations were due to disruptive weather and air traffic control issues, but the timing aroused suspicions including those of the Texas Republican who tweeted: “Joe Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate a work! Suddenly, we’re short on pilots & air traffic controllers.” Following President Joe Biden’s instruction, Southwest announced last week that all of its staff should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8 –with medical or religious exemptions allowed. The airline is required to get its workers fully vaccinated since companies with federal contracts are obliged to do so. “Southwest’s work for the government includes flying the military in emergencies and carrying mail for the U.S. Postal Service,” Fox Business underlines. Other major airlines like American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL), Alaska Airlines –Alaska Air Group Inc (NYSE:ALK), and JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) instructed their personnel to get the vaccine, as United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:UAL) reached a 97% vaccination rate. “United also said it would put staff who couldn’t get the shots due to medical or religious reasons on unpaid leave until COVID-19 rates go down.” Challenge From The Union As reported by Bloomberg, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association contested the airline’s instruction at a federal courtroom in Dallas, maintaining the policy “unlawfully imposes new conditions of employment and the new policy threatens termination of any pilot not fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021.” After Friday proceedings, the union stated in a press release on Saturday that it is aware of the “operational difficulties,” and asserted “we can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions.” CNBC enquired the airline about the validity of the weather and operational disruption claims, with Southwest emphasizing that the COVID-19 mandate was not the trigger of the delays. An airline’s spokeswoman told the news outlet, “There’s a lot of unfounded rumor and speculation circulating,” and did not comment on Sen. Cruz’s tweet. The company referred Fox News to an initial statement, which read: “We’ve continued diligent work throughout the weekend to reset our operation with a focus on getting aircraft and Crews repositioned to take care of our Customers.” Updated on Oct 11, 2021, 9:39 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 11th, 2021

I flew Spirit across the US for $35 after it canceled thousands of flights in August. I wouldn"t hesitate to do it again but it wasn"t without risks.

My ticket may have only cost around $35 but the low fares can sometimes be too cheap to be true, as thousands of Spirit flyers found over the summer. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Spirit Airlines in August canceled thousands of flights after extreme weather impacted its operation, impacting its reputation for cheap on-time flights. The event highlighted the risks of booking with an ultra-low-cost carrier, which may recover slower than larger carriers. Even with the risks, Spirit still manages to attract flyers that are price-focused with fares lower than $35 one-way for cross-country travel. See more stories on Insider's business page. Spirit Airlines is one of the US's leading budget carriers, known for cheap flights with no frills that make air travel more accessible to the masses. A Spirit Airlines aircraft. Thiago B Trevisan/Shutterstock But over the summer, Spirit briefly became known for delayed and canceled flights. Extreme weather led to thousands of Spirit flight cancellations over the course of a week, seriously impacting the airline's reputation for on-time performance. Passengers wait in line at the Spirit Airlines check-in counter at Orlando International Airport on the sixth day the airline has cancelled hundreds of flights. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Here's how Spirit's week-long meltdown started in August  The event highlighted the risk that can come with booking through an ultra-low-cost carrier. Specifically, travelers on these airlines may have less recourse when things go wrong, such as a lack of backup flights on a given route. Spirit Airlines passengers. VIAVAL TOURS/Shutterstock Spirit provided stranded customers with $50 vouchers and limited rebooking options during its August meltdown. Airlines like Spirit also don't commonly partner with other airlines, preventing them from rebooking disrupted passengers onto a different carrier. A Spirit Airlines plane at Los Angeles International Airport. AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Those risks usually entice me to book flights on full-services carriers over budget airlines. But I couldn't resist the challenge when I saw the fare on a cross-country flight was only $34.57 on Spirit for a recent flight home. Flying on a Spirit Airlines Airbus A320neo. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider I flew Spirit Airlines home from Santa Ana, California to Newark after a work trip to California. Here’s what it was like. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider My transcontinental journey started dark and early with a 7 a.m. flight from Orange Country's John Wayne Airport. The first leg of my trip consisted of a short hop to Las Vegas, where I'd connect to a non-stop flight to Newark. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider As per tradition when I book flights on ultra-low-cost carriers like Spirit, I didn't purchase any extras and let fate decide my experience. All I had with me was an overnight bag and a ticket to ride. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Here's how I navigate flights on ultra-low-cost airlines like Frontier Airlines and Breeze Airways. This would be the longest journey on Spirit at seven hours and 12 minutes from start to finish. I can't say I wasn't tempted to pre-pay for window seats, which started at $10 for the shorter flight and increased to $13 for the longer one. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Nevertheless, I stuck to my faith in the system and was rewarded with a choice of two window seats at check-in. Both were towards the back of the plane but I saved $25 by not pre-paying. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Tickets in hand, I went to the security checkpoint that was luckily empty at the ripe hour of 5 a.m. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flying time to Las Vegas was a brief 44 minutes and I wasn't concerned at all with this leg of the journey. The route is among the shortest in Spirit's network and there's not much I can't put up with for 44 minutes on an airplane. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Boarding began in groups around 30 minutes prior to departure. Travelers that purchase extras like a carry-on bag or early boarded, as well as Spirit credit cardholders, are given the first two zones and board first. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider I was given zone three and still boarded relatively early. But this also wasn't a full flight. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Spirit's newest fleet type, the Airbus A320neo, was operating the flight to Las Vegas. This was the second time I was getting to fly on the jet for Spirit as it took me to Boston in 2020. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Here's what it was like flying from Newark to Boston for $25 on Spirit Airlines A total of 182 seats comprise the all-economy class cabin spanning 31 rows in the standard 3-3 configuration for an A320neo. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: SeatGuru The first two rows, however, house "big front seats" that are essential business class-style recliners without the business class perks. These seats offer 36 inches of pitch and 20 inches of width, with a wide center console and adjustable headrests. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider There are no additional perks besides a larger seat with extra legroom but it did look comfortable. Upgrade bids for this seat started at $26 for the Santa Ana-Las Vegas flight and $31 for Las Vegas-Newark. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Regular economy seats offer 28 inches of pitch and 17.75 inches of width. It's a tight fit and the seats are remarkably thin. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider There are no adjustable headrests, seat-back entertainment systems, in-seat power outlets, or even seat-back pockets. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider A small literature holder acted as a makeshift seat-back pocket that just barely fit my iPhone. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Seat storage isn't Spirit's strong suit and putting a bag under the seat would only serve to further reduce legroom. That said, I didn't immediately feel too crammed into the seat, even as a larger traveler. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider But these were all things for which I was prepared. I had downloaded entertainment to my phone ahead of time and packed a portable charger. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider The only thing I forgot was a travel pillow to make up for the lack of a proper headrest. Other than that, the "deluxe leather" seats seemed to be comfortable enough for a cross-country journey. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider I was also lucky enough to have the row to myself and feeling good that I didn't pay for a seat assignment. It didn't get better than this. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider And where Spirit lacked in frills, it made up for in on-time performance on this short hop to Sin City. We pushed back to the gate a remarkable six minutes early and made our way to the runway. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider We started our takeoff roll just after 7 a.m. and I could rest easy that the airline's troubles over the summer weren't going to affect this flight. Though, I still had one more flight to go. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider The A320neo's performance capabilities truly shined on takeoff as we climbed incredibly quickly over Orange County. John Wayne Airport is known for complex departure procedures to keep noise levels down, and the A320neo handled it quite well. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Plus, the aircraft's Pratt & Whitney PW1000G geared turbofan engines were incredibly quiet on takeoff and throughout the flight. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flight attendants quickly began the in-flight service once we reached our cruising altitude of 23,000 feet. Flight attendants walked around taking orders instead of rolling out the trolley, given the short duration of the flight. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Nothing is free on Spirit, not even water, but the prices were reasonable for what was on offer. Passengers could choose from combos or standalone purchases. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider via Spirit Airlines Tea was $2 per cup while coffee and hot chocolate were $3 per cup. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider via Spirit Airlines Soft drinks and bottled water were $3 each. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider via Spirit Airlines Servings of beer and liquor started at $8, comparable to what a beer costs in New York City, and cocktails were available for between $9 and $11. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider via Spirit Airlines Snacks then started a $3, with snack boxes increasing to $8. The pricing was comparable to what I've seen on other airlines. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider via Spirit Airlines But for this short flight, I decided to wait and have a proper breakfast once we landed in Las Vegas. I wasn't alone as not many of my fellow passengers placed orders. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider So far, I was holding to my initial fare of $34.57 and no more. We began our descent into Las Vegas shortly after flight attendants finished taking orders. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Seeing the Mandalay Bay marked the end of my Spirit journey's first leg. Next came a layover of one hour and four minutes before the flight time to Newark. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Deplaning occurred as normal with no change to that procedure. Flying Spirit felt like flying during pre-pandemic times, as more and more airlines are getting back to the normal swing of things. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider McCarran International Airport didn't have too much to offer for breakfast in the Spirit terminal. Moe's Southwest Grill, Siegel's Bagelmania, and Starbucks Coffee provided the only real breakfast options so I bought two bagels since I still had a long way to go until Newark. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider The flight time to Newark was scheduled for five hours and two minutes. And as luck would have it, I was going to be flying on the same exact plane that brought me to Las Vegas. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider This flight was markedly more crowded, however, with nearly every seat filling up. Boarding once again began around 30 minutes prior to departure and one gate agent was tasked with scanning boarding passes and checking passengers' bags. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Multiple people were taken off the line for having bags that were too large. This gate agent wasn't playing around. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider I was able to board with no issues thanks to my overnight bag, saving what would have been a $60 fee had my bag been larger in size. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider The familiar yellow and black A320neo greeted me once more and I got ready for the longest flight of my life on an ultra-low-cost carrier. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider This time I was in the second to last row with a seat assignment of 30A. I was way in the back but still had a window seat so I couldn't complain. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider And this seat actually had a window. Row 31, the last row, does not have any windows. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Boarding went smoothly and those that were forced to check their bags, or pay the carry-on fee, soon filed onto the plane. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Once again, we pushed back from the gate and departed on time. I rested easy knowing I wouldn't be stranded in Las Vegas and that I might even get home early if the tailwinds were strong enough. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider I was also happy that I didn't spring for the $13 seat assignment fee as I had scored a window seat in a row with no middle seat. I couldn't have asked for a better assignment, compliments of Spirit. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flight attendants started the in-flight service and brought around a trolley this time. I once again declined, having eaten in the airport. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider The next few hours would be somewhat challenging. I didn't sleep on the flight to Las Vegas and needed to get some rest. But I've never slept well when flying on ultra-low-cost airlines. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider I finally managed to get two hours of sleep, taking off a good chunk of the flight. It wasn't a good sleep, and I really should've brought a pillow. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider I knew I was home free once we crossed the mighty Mississippi River, and that there would be no more than around two and a half hours until touchdown in Newark. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flight attendants came around for the final service and I couldn't help but indulge since I had a long journey home from Newark airport to my house on Long Island, New York. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider I purchased the $11 snack box and drink combo that came with almonds, Brownie Brittle, Craisins, crackers, and smoked gouda cheese. It was a typical airline snack box and I enjoyed every bite. The total cost of my $34.57 Spirit ticket was now $35.57. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider As there were no forms of in-flight WiFi or entertainment onboard, I had to rely on the old-fashioned method of using landmarks to gauge our location the rest of the way. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport was the first marker, soon followed by Lake Michigan. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Next came Detroit, letting me know that there was no more than an hour and 30 minutes left of flying time. Our descent started around an hour later, marking the final stages of a long cross-country journey. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Overall, it wasn't the most comfortable flight of my life but it was more than bearable, and I couldn't complain given the $35 airfare. For comparison, $35 isn't even enough to fill up my car with gas with current $3 per gallon gas prices in New York. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider But as with anything that seems too cheap to be true, I was taking a risk when choosing Spirit. The airline's focus on improving its on-time performance in recent years has mitigated that risk but it still remains. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider We actually landed in Newark ahead of schedule. Next came the hardest part of the flight, getting home from Newark airport. Flying Spirit Airlines from Santa Ana, California to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 9th, 2021

"This Is Completely Avoidable" - New York Hospitals Prepare For Staffing Crisis As Vaccination Mandate Forces Mass Firings

"This Is Completely Avoidable" - New York Hospitals Prepare For Staffing Crisis As Vaccination Mandate Forces Mass Firings With President Biden's federal vaccine mandate set to take effect on Monday, health-care systems around the country are suspending elective in-patient surgeries and refusing to accept ICU patients from other hospitals as they brace for potentially hundreds of firings of nurses and other critical staffers, potentially even doctors. According to the NYT, the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo is planning to do all that and more, as it says it may soon fire about 400 employees who have chosen not to get the single job required by the edict (which was pushed through despite being blocked by a federal judge). Similarly, officials at Northwell Health, the state's largest health-care provider, estimate that NWH might be forced to fire thousands of people who have refused to get vaccinated. In an economy with more job openings than workers - 2.2MM more, to be exact - forcing workers to choose between employment and their health or religious compunctions simply isn't a smart idea. Without even a hint of self-awareness, the governor apparently agrees: "What is looming for Monday is completely avoidable, and there’s no excuses,” Ms. Hochul said, pleading for those who have not done so to get vaccinated," Hochul said during a weekend press briefing. But we digress. The situation is less dire in NYC, but there will still be plenty of hospitals left with massive staffing holes after mass-firings. The city's largest private hospital network, NewYork-Presbyterian, has more than 200 employees who may face termination because they haven't received at least one jab. Of course, as we have pointed out in recent posts, health-care workers are only a fraction of the worker who will be impacted by shortages across the economy. In California, nurse shortages have reached crisis levels in California, airlines are seeing flights frequently cancelled due to worker shortages. As of late September, 84% of NY's 450,000 hospital workers and 83% of nursing home workers - which number around 45,400 - remained unvaccinated.  Despite being directly threatened by their superiors, most say they're refusing the jab on religious or health grounds, or because they're allergic to certain ingredients. In an effort to scare workers into compliance, NY Gov. Kathy Hochul has threatened to find "foreign workers" to staff the Empire state's hospitals and care homes (despite the fact that vaccination rates are much lower in most of the world outside the US). She has also threatened to call in the National Guard or order a state of emergency in a plan unveiled over the weekend. NY's teachers are also facing a mandate to either get vaccinated or kiss their jobs goodbye. Roughly 10,000 public school workers, that's compared to 75K teachers and tens of thousands of other employees from custodians to paraprofessioanls. Circling back to hospitals and care homes, institutions like Northwell are being relatively parsimonious with their exemptions for religious and health reasons, But some are getting through . NY's emergency order doesn't stipulate how exactly hospitals and nursing homes should enforce it, and there's a good chance that hospitals serving communities in greater need will be forced to make exceptions. Black and Hispanic New Yorkers have gotten the jab in far lower numbers than white new Yorkers. The NYT points out in its story that some hospitals in the Bronx see unvaccinated rates among doctors and nurses reaching into double-digit territory. At St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, about 12 percent of the nearly 3,000 employees had not been vaccinated as of midday on Friday, the chief medical officer, Eric Appelbaum, said in an interview. The group includes roughly 3 important doctors, and plenty of badly eed studiws Anecdotally hospitals are reporting a surge in vaccinations among hospital workers who haven't yet been vaccinated. But who knows what to believe. All we know is that we wouldn't want to be having an elective surgery or delivering a baby in NY right now. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 21:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 26th, 2021

Flights down 38% for the biggest airlines with virus cutting travel

Airlines have canceled thousands of flights in recent days as the impacts of Covid-19’s rapid march across the U.S. has dramatically reduced travel......»»

Category: topSource: moneycentralMar 23rd, 2020

SAS pilots continue strike, hundreds more flights canceled

Nearly 600 flights have been canceled and thousands of passengers stranded on the third day of a pilots strike at Scandinavian Airlines that the carrier estimates has affected some 170,000 passengers over the weekend......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsApr 28th, 2019

Delta announced 3 new routes to Panama in its latest network expansion

Delta Air Lines is focusing on Panama City, Panama in its latest network expansion, announcing three all-new nonstop routes to the Central American country. Touring Delta Air Lines' new terminal at LaGuardia Airport. Thomas Pallini/Insider Delta Air Lines is launching three new routes and one additional frequency to Panama City, Panama this winter. The expansion will mark Delta's highest number of flights to the country since it started service there in 1998. Delta's flight from Orlando will be the carrier's only international route out of the central Florida city. Delta Air Lines is focusing on Panama City, Panama in its latest network expansion, announcing three all-new nonstop routes to the Central American country on Friday.Delta is launching three new routes to Panama City in December from Los Angeles, Orlando, and New York, expanding its operation in the country to 13 weekly flights, which is an 80% increase in capacity since 2019, according to the airline. In addition to new routes, the airline is also adding a second Saturday-only frequency from its hub in Atlanta, set to begin on December 18. According to Delta, this winter will mark the highest number of flights to Panama since beginning service there in 1998. "From its breathtaking beaches and vibrant culture to its competitive economy in Latin America, Panama is a highly sought destination for business and leisure travelers alike," said Luciano Macagno, Delta's managing director - Latin America, Caribbean, and South Florida. "With our new direct flights from our L.A. and JFK hubs that offer significant U.S. connectivity, as well as the demand from the local Orlando community, we're looking forward to introducing Delta's signature hospitality and exceptional onboard experience to more customers planning their next trip."The launch of these routes indicates Delta sees strong business and leisure demand to the country, which has had a good recovery since the pandemic. According to Cirium data for October, airlines are operating 83% of the flights offered to Panama during the same time in 2019. Tourism in Panama spiked over the summer, with over 50,000 visitors in June 2021, according to CEIC data, compared to the 30,000 in May. However, this is still well below 2019 levels which saw over 120,000 tourists.Delta will face strong competition from Panama's national carrier Copa Airlines, which has its "Hub of the Americas" in Panama City. Last month, the airline joined the government in promoting tourism in the country, including launching its "Panama Stopover" and "Panama Irresistible" programs, according to Spanish aviation media outlet Aviaci Online.The stopover initiative, which was done with the support of the Tourism Promotion Fund, known as PROMTUR, offers travelers the option to add a multi-day stop in Panama City to their reservation at no additional cost."One of the main objectives of PROMTUR Panama is to generate demand for international travelers through strategic alliances, and programs such as the Panama Stopover, align our efforts to position the country as a tourist destination in an attractive way for the thousands of tourists who travel through Copa Airlines," said PROMTUR's general director Fernando Fondevila.Meanwhile, the company's "Panama Irresistible" program offers discounts to Panama from dozens of cities in its network, including Los Angeles and Orlando, according to Aviaci Online.Here's a closer look at Delta's new routes to Panama.Between Orlando and Panama City, Panama Orlando, Florida John Greim/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Delta will launch Saturday-only flights between Orlando and Panama City on December 18 using a Boeing 737-900 aircraft, which can carry 180 passengers. The outbound will depart Orlando at 10:30 a.m. and land in Panama City at 1:50 p.m., with the return leaving at 3:20 p.m. and arriving at 6:40 p.m. The route will be the airline's only international flight out of Orlando and will face competition from Copa Airlines.Between Los Angeles and Panama City, Panama Los Angeles, California Getty Images/TheCrimsonRibbon Delta will launch once-daily flights between Los Angeles and Panama City on December 18 using a Boeing 757 aircraft, which can carry 199 passengers. The outbound flight will operate on Saturdays and depart Los Angeles at 8:50 p.m. and land in Panama City at 5:45 a.m. the next day. The return will operate on Sundays and leave at 8:05 a.m. and arrive at 11:15 a.m. Delta will compete with Copa Airlines on the route.Between New York's JFK International Airport and Panama City, Panama New York City, New York Joey Hadden/Insider Delta will launch thrice-weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between New York-JFK and Panama City on December 20 using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which can carry 160 passengers. Frequencies will increase to four times weekly on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in March 2022. The outbound will depart New York in the morning and the return will leave Panama City in the afternoon. Copa Airlines will be Delta's only competitor.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 15th, 2021