Why Southwest Is Cancelling Thousands Of Flights


The aviation industry never sleeps, and those words couldn’t be more ushered during this festive period with the catastrophic meltdown of Southwest. One of the U.S.’ most essential and flown airlines.

A system-wide computer outage, as best described, sparked the beginnings of the crisis. It meant that Southwest was unable to complete routine operations.

Days prior, a severe winter storm made its way through the U.S., also causing travel chaos. So the events involving Southwest couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Unfortunately, thousands of flights were cancelled. According to FlightAware, only yesterday (Tuesday, 28th, December), they cancelled 71% of their schedule. 

A winter storm, plus minor scheduling issues, was what Southwest labelled as the initial cause of the operational meltdown.

It ultimately became a far more significant problem with lines at airports and with miss communication at hubs. It left southwest staff inundated.

In some instances, passengers faced zero compensation. At the same time, others were unable to rebook onto flights during the holiday travel period.

This problem needs investigating and resolving so that this oddest happens again. Transparency in these situations is critical.

Southwest severely lacked that during this period, whether it be because of shortages or other reasons, like misunderstanding the problem.

Southwest Boeing 737

As a result, customers affected were clueless, with flights cancelled without notice. 

The issue is far more deep-rooted than a simple systems crash. Outstanding investigations and pieces that highlight Southwest’s dated system are readily available, leaving them prone to such errors.

It is imperative to have technology in place that is suitable and also robust in case of any errors. It doesnt take down the entire airline.

Even one minor hiccup can send an airline spiralling out of control. CNN’s analysis highlighted that the systems had needed an overhaul for some time, and Southwest is only to blame for such a thing.

It’s a business model that works but can have hugely impactful repercussions if something goes wrong. 

Staff shortages are another area. Again, it’s the unfortunate reality of executives’ decision to offload staff during the pandemic and demand return quicker than expected.

It leaves an airline like Southwest, which requires tens of thousands for positions understaffed and under pressure.

Southwest is understaffed,d and employees are currently working under pressure.

It’s like putting 100 people on a kid’s trampoline. Sure, it may hold for a while, but everyone knows it doesn’t work forever, and it’ll snap at some point.

There isn’t enough staff in roles across the board, even down to communication. Airlines are also struggling to rehire people.

Southwest has eluded to crucial issues inside the company again, only heightening the criticism they’re facing.

Ignoring some of the critical internal issues in the company, therefore, a statement lacking the transparency necessary. 

While Southwest make headlines now, it’s important to remember that this isn’t the first time the U.S. carrier has featured.

In 2021, Southwest was forced to cancel thousands of flights. Bad weather was initially outlined as the cause for the cancellations. However, later the airline admitted that staff shortages were the key catalyst.

As reported by many reputable publications, it was the beginning of a much bigger problem at the airline. Also, one felt widely across the industry.

Carriers have removed too many employees while downsizing that now they can’t keep up. Moreover, with airlines not offering attractive pay or benefits, they can’t get people to come back.

It’s a genuine problem, and it’s affecting every single market. The pin, however, has just dropped on Southwest in recent days. 

A winter storm, outdated technology, a tight schedule, staff shortages and much more have all been to blame. 

Watch the Youtube video on GlobeTrotting at Dj’s Aviation.
Daniel Fowkes
29 Dec 2022
· Analysis 

Leave a Reply

  1. Southwest Airlines is people’s favorite airline to fly because of affordable fares and destinations. So I think it’s can happen to any other airlines not just Southwest.

    1. Post

      It can 100% happen to any airline, that’s for sure. However, there are many contributing factors. As per insiders and employees at Southwest, this has been a long time coming, thanks to the currently used technology and systems. You’re right, it comes with the business model and risks associated. Thanks for your support!

  2. Pingback: Southwest Crisis To Cost 800+ Million - Dj's Aviation

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