Saturday October 16, 2021
Get ready for turbulence ahead.
Yesterday American Airlines had almost 300 of its flights canceled, almost 10 percent of its total schedule, far more than ANY other carrier in the United States (Southwest remains second), and another 673 delayed. It is no doubt purely coincidental that I have heard from multiple pilots at American this week and that its pilot forums are filled with anger at the vaccine mandate.
It is also no doubt a coincidence that Delta - which has had far fewer problems than the other big carriers - has been the only one NOT to impose a vaccine mandate.
Meanwhile, though they still insist last weekend’s meltdown had nothing - NOTHING, I TELL YOU - to do with their vaccine mandate, Southwest’s executives have dramatically changed their rhetoric about said mandate.
On a video call yesterday, the company’s CEO encouraged employees who don’t want to be vaccinated to apply for exemptions and said he didn’t want anyone to lose a job over vaccinations. Last week, the language went like this: “Failure to comply with the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy will result in termination of employment.” (Still, the mandate remains in place, unless Southwest simply decides to wave through every exemption request.)