According to FlightAware, a website that tracks cancellations and delays, Southwest has canceled 1,018 flights and had 597 flights delayed on Sunday alone. On Saturday, the airline canceled 808 flights and had 1,187 flights delayed.
While the airline has blamed the unprecedented amount of flight cancelations on “disruptive weather”, many have speculated that Southwest’s pilot union is mounting a hardline fight against vaccine mandates. Southwest is a government contractor carrying mail for the United States Postal Service and handling emergency flights for the Pentagon.
What is known, beyond speculation, is that union is challenging the airlines adherence to the mandate in federal court. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association on Friday challenged the company’s mandate inside a Dallas federal court, claiming the policy "unlawfully imposes new conditions of employment and the new policy threatens termination of any pilot not fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021," The mass flight cancellations happened just days later. It’s currently 79 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny in Dallas today.