A Southwest Airlines plane is sitting on the doorstep of Orlando International Airport on October 11, 2021 in Orlando, Florida, USA.
Joe Skipper | Reuters
Hundreds of flights were canceled over the weekend and thousands more were delayed by Florida thunderstorms that slowed traffic during the spring break at one of the country’s major travel destinations.
More than 5,900 U.S. flights were delayed and 1,930 were canceled on Saturday, according to the FlightAware flight tracking website.
Thunderstorms are especially difficult for airlines because it is more difficult to predict and plan than with other systems such as winter storms and hurricanes, in which airlines often cancel flights a few hours earlier than the day before.
Storm disruptions tend to jump because crews and aircraft are out of position for their tasks. The airline is hiring staff to handle the growing demand for travel that has grown over the course of Covid’s cases over the winter. Staff shortages worsened flight disruptions last year.
Southwest Airlines canceled 520 flights, or 14% of Saturday’s schedule, plus 43% of delays or 43% of scheduled flights, according to FlightAwar. About 10% of flights on Sunday in the Southwest were canceled and 7% were delayed.
Before the storm caused delays in Florida, the airline suspended departures earlier in the day for checks on a backend system that it had reinstated as part of its night maintenance. These systems are used to include pre-departure procedures.
“Our top priorities are protecting our Crew network, ensuring that crews have hotel rooms, and minimizing the effects our customers feel while we work to suspend travel plans for the spring break,” Southwest said in a message to aircraft assistants. “These situations have never been easy, and we thank you for your patience and perseverance as we move forward on this difficult weekend.”
The airline refused to accept tariff differences for affected customers without having to wait on the phone to re-book online, a spokesman said.
Air traffic controllers slowed or disrupted incoming traffic at several Florida airports on Saturday, including Orlando International Airport, Miami International Airport and Tampa International Airport. One-third of Orlando’s departures were canceled and delayed by 42%.
“It simply came to our notice then [air traffic control] the initiatives affected our operations with north and south Florida and most of the routes that affect Florida, American Airlines said in a statement. “Today we are recovering from these disruptions.”
Delta Air Lines said the weather in Florida also affected its operation on Saturday. One-fifth of each carrier’s Saturday hours were delayed, or about 600 flights.
The airline is canceling hundreds of flights over the weekend in storms across Florida
Source link The airline is canceling hundreds of flights over the weekend in storms across Florida