PHOENIX — Southwest Airlines has canceled hundreds of flights nationwide, including at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, citing air traffic control issues and weather this weekend.
In a tweet Saturday, the airline said "ATC issues and disruptive weather resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation."
ATC issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation. We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected Customers, and Customer Service wait times are longer than usual. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/o1scQJ5lLb— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 9, 2021
FlightAware, a flight-tracking website, is reporting over 1,000 Southwest flights have been canceled and over 400 were flights delayed throughout the country, as of Sunday morning.
According to the Sky Habor Airport website, 174 Southwest flights have been canceled, as of Sunday morning.
@SouthwestAir thanks for canceling my pregnant wife’s flight from Phoenix today with no recourse to get her to Amarillo or Lubbock until Tuesday. “Your estimated wait time exceeds 120 minutes to speak with a representative”— Parker Grotegut (@parkergrotegut) October 10, 2021
Waiting on hold for nearly eight hours now trying to get an answer from @SouthwestAir as to why our flight this afternoon was canceled and nothing else is available out of Phoenix until Tuesday. I am DMing every five minutes. I will not be defeated. I will not be ignored.— Always Andy (@andypaughrules1) October 10, 2021
Wow @SouthwestAir second time in 4 months getting stuck somewhere. This time it’s two more days in Phoenix… that’s two more days of hotels and rental car and car sitters. That’s absurd. Do better.— Dr. Adam Hook (@Hooktown) October 10, 2021
Southwest Airlines later provided the following statement about the flight cancellation and delays over the weekend.
We experienced weather challenges in our Florida airports at the beginning of the weekend, challenges that were compounded by unexpected air traffic control issues in the same region, triggering delays and prompting significant cancellations for us beginning Friday evening. 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.
With fewer frequencies between cities in our current schedule, recovering during operational challenges is more difficult and prolonged.
We’re working diligently to accommodate our Customers as quickly as possible, and we are grateful for their patience. We’re offering Customers added flexibility to explore self-service rebooking options on Southwest.com, where they can get updates on the status of their travel. We know the frustration flight cancellations are creating for our Customers and Employees and we apologize, and we again thank everyone for patience as we work first to be safe, and second to be as quick as possible in solving disrupted plans.
Last week, Southwest Airlines announced it would be requiring employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8 or face termination.