ST. LOUIS – Southwest Airline Wednesday was facing another day of delays and cancellations at St. Louis Lambert International Airport and airports across the country. Southwest carries about 60 percent of all passengers at Lambert.
Right now, it has all sorts of problems, weather, mechanical and union are among some of them.
Southwest’s arrival and departure boards Wednesday showed scores of delays and cancellations.
Winter storms crossing the country delayed one customer, “I absolutely hate delays and cancellations,” said Therese Hagemeister, Southwest customer.
Southwest appeared to be blaming its mechanics for much of the disruption. The airline is under an operational emergency after a high number of planes were taken out of service at maintenance locations.
In a statement, the airline said after the company’s last negotiation session with the mechanics’ union Southwest experienced an unprecedented number of out of service aircraft despite no changes in maintenance programs or policies. The airline said the mechanics union has a history of work disruptions and the company is suing the union.
Elaine Trout is a Southwest Passenger, she said, “If the mechanics are saying there’s a problem then there’s a problem. I don’t think it’s something they would fools around with as far as try to use as negotiations to get more money out of the airline,” said Elaine Trout, Southwest passenger.
Mechanics have been ordered to show up for work or get fired. A tweet on the union twitter site said southwest is scapegoating its expert mechanics and that does not bode well for the airline’s safe operations.
One passenger voiced her displeasure over the delays, “They need to get this figured out otherwise people will lose a lot of confidence,” said Hagemeister.
Southwest said it’s all-hands-on-deck in order to keep all planes in the air. Meanwhile, it appears the loyal customers are feeling the brunt of the labor disagreement when their flight is canceled or delayed.