Looming vaccine deadline for TSA threatens holiday travel | News


ATLANTA (CBS46) — If thousands of workers don’t respond to a federal regulation soon, Thanksgiving travel could hit a major snag.

Roughly 4 in 10 TSA workers are unvaccinated, despite the agency’s looming vaccine mandate with a November 22 deadline.

“We require our workforce to report whether or not they are vaccinated,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske.

Workers who forgo the jab will be out of a job. As of mid-October, about 20,000 of the country’s 50,000 estimated agents are not vaccinated.

“We have about 60% of our workforce that has been vaccinated. That number needs to go quite a bit higher in the next weeks,” said Pekoske.

But because a person needs to wait two full weeks after their final dose to be considered fully vaccinated, workers must act soon.

In some cases, it may be too late.

To hit the deadline with the Pfizer vaccine, workers must get their first shot by Oct. 18.

The deadline for a first Moderna shot has already passed.

These dates are reversing who’s concerned about who’s safety at the terminal.

“I hope they’re vaccinated. I think they should be vaccinated, and I hope they get it,” said Wesley Few, as he picked up his daughter visiting from Colorado.

Jack, another traveler heading to Ohio, shared the same sentiment.

“These people who have been through the experience with COVID say it should be avoided at all costs. Vaccines are a minor price,” he said.

Ally Koch and Grant Sears shared empathy for the TSA workers, now choosing between a jab and a job.

“It would suck if anyone’s losing jobs over this,” said Koch.

TSA is working on a contingency plan if they experience staffing shortages.

The last possible date to hit the vaccine requirement deadline is opting for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Nov. 8.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.





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Will the Rental Car Shortage Ease in Time for Holiday Travel? – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth


Over the spring and summer travel season, renting a car at your destination may not have always been a given. Inventory was low as travel demand picked up in 2021, explained Willis Orlando with Scott’s Cheap Flights.

“Folks would buy these cheap flights, arrive at their destination and go to rent a car – which used to be a very easy, routine thing to do and find themselves out of luck,” said Orlando.

Read on to hear from experts in the travel industry.

“They’re just about back”

Orlando said an early spot check of Thanksgiving weekend car rental prices showed they’re leveling out from highs seen earlier this year.

“In the summer, when the car rental agencies had their backs against the wall and were scrambling to fill demand, they bought up new cars, they started rebuilding their supply. Now, they’re just about back where they were pre-pandemic,” Orlando said.

The American Car Rental Association’s Greg Scott said it’s too soon to say things are back to “normal”.

“I hate to sound pessimistic, but it’s not a science. We don’t exactly know where it’s going to go,” said Scott.

ACRA, which represents approximately 98% of the car rental industry, estimates rental companies had 1.7 million vehicles at the start of the pandemic. When travel slowed in 2020, Scott said the industry sold around half its fleet. In 2021, car rental companies are buying back cars, though not as many as in pre-pandemic years.

“We’re still selling cars and purchasing cars, but the number of cars we’re purchasing is way down as an industry. Quite frankly, the number of cars that we would like to purchase is higher than what we’re able to purchase right now,” explained Scott – pointing to ongoing supply chain challenges.

Scott said, at the same time, demand remains unpredictable. COVID-19 variants continue to impact travel and it’s unclear if business travel will return to pre-pandemic levels.

Late hurricane season and fall severe weather can also drive up demand for rental cars in certain markets – which could impact the holidays.

Book early

“I think that somebody who, two years ago, would arrange their hotel and their airlines six months out for their Christmas vacation, but wait until the last week or so to think about a car rental probably is making a mistake,” said Scott.

He recommends consumers reserve their vehicles when booking flights or hotels.

“Go online, reserve one now, lock in a good rate for yourself. Very often you have free cancelations. If plans change, you’re off the hook, you’re fine,” said Orlando.

Shop around for discounts

Be flexible about the vehicle you want and where you pick up. Consumers may have better luck at a neighborhood car rental location versus an airport counter.

When you book, search for discount codes that apply to you. The company you work for may get a discount for employees – even on leisure trips. There may be an alumni discount for your school.

Tap into loyalty programs through the car rental company, your hotel or airline. You may get discounts through memberships at your auto club, even a warehouse or wholesale club. Your credit card may also offer perks.

NBC 5 Responds is committed to researching your concerns and recovering your money. Our goal is to get you answers and, if possible, solutions and a resolution. Call us at 844-5RESPND (844-573-7763) or fill out our customer complaint form.



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Staffing shortages expected to affect holiday travel | News


Travelers are expected to bear some of the burdens of nationwide labor shortages when they travel this holiday season.

Labor shortages are being felt across industries, resulting in longer wait times at restaurants, shipping delays, and higher costs. But as the United States hurdles toward the busiest travel season of the year, staffing shortages will be more apparent than ever. They may cause issues for travelers looking to venture home for the holidays.

Southwest Airlines caught the country’s attention when it ended up canceling or delaying thousands of flights for several days. While Southwest and its pilots’ union have vociferously denied that the mass cancellations were due to any mass staffing shortages caused by so-called “sickouts” protesting a federal vaccine mandate, some in the airline industry have warned that the mandate could play a role over the holidays.

The Allied Pilots Association, which represents American Airlines pilots, sent a letter to the carrier asking that “alternate means of compliance with the Executive Order be made available for professional pilots” so as not to prompt mass firings and unpaid leave.

“All of those members are still able to perform their duties as professional pilots,” the letter read. “To force those pilots out of their positions, rather than offering viable alternatives, will have adverse consequences upon their families and the airline industry as a whole.”

Jan Jones, hospitality and tourism management program coordinator at the University of New Haven, told the Washington Examiner that she is very concerned about just how congested and frustrating holiday travel will be for customers.

Jones pointed out the holidays represent some of the peak travel times for the industry and noted that most schools are let out, further bolstering the peak travel during the holiday season. She said there would be a peak around Thanksgiving and then an even bigger one around Christmas.

Rachel Greszler, an economics research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told the Washington Examiner that staffing shortages could certainly make holiday travel a lot more complicated, especially when it goes hand in hand with the supply chain crisis.

“Everything out there I think could really add up to just make this a lot more difficult for people to get around, to visit family these holidays,” she said.

Greszler said that an airline or airport being just a few people short can still cause a profound effect on travel. For example, if only one person checks bags at the airport, the line of people waiting to move their bags along and get through security could be enormous, but that line could be far more manageable with just a couple more workers.

Suppose the line of people is too large. In that case, it could result in travelers missing flights and spark a snowball effect resulting in enormous costs and consequences for the traveler and airline — all because just a few more workers were needed to process checked baggage.

The industry also might not be ready for the public’s crushing demand for travel.

For many families, this holiday season will be the first one spent together in one place since before the pandemic in 2019 because last year, vaccines weren’t readily available and many people forwent holiday travel. There could be even more people traveling than anticipated, given that pent-up demand.

Jones said that demand is likely to be further bolstered by those who usually travel internationally and by those who are vaccinated and want to spend a typical holiday with their loved ones after so long.

“People are starting to just get tired of it all, and they are vaccinated; they just want to get back to their normal routines,” she said. Jones pointed out that international travel is still tricky because of the pandemic, so people who might typically travel abroad during the holidays may end up traveling around the U.S., further increasing domestic travel demand.

Costs will also be higher for travelers.

While staff will invariably have to get paid more to attract and retain them, other costs that may be passed on to travelers include rising energy prices. The price of oil and gas has shot through the roof as the country and the world grapple with a massive energy crunch. There is also a chip shortage, which has caused rental car prices to soar.

The most recent measure of job openings found that there are a near-record 10.4 million jobs out there for workers, although people just aren’t biting for a variety of reasons. Companies have had to get creative to lure in workers, offering bonuses and higher pay — all of that translates to higher costs for consumers, though.

“Just everything about the travel process,” Greszler said. “Higher costs for the rental cars, for the Ubers, for the food that you get at the airport. … Everything is becoming more expensive, and I think that Americans are going to have to be prepared to pay more.”

Workers, especially those who practice more specialized trades, can also take a while to get the company moving because they require onboarding and training.

“The problem is, when you have a shortage with staffing, it takes time to train those people. It’s not like you can just throw anyone into a pilot seat,” Jones said.

While the massive cancellations that Southwest experienced are unlikely to be the holiday norm, the company’s problem is very damaging to its brand; thus, airlines will work hard to avoid getting similar black eyes.

Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, said Southwest’s problem with flight cancellations was akin to being “body-slammed” before the holiday season. He said that customers are expected to “avoid Southwest like it’s a new COVID variant” when deciding which airline to take.

Although Schiffer told the Washington Examiner that if the problem of cancellations and delays begins to spread to other airlines because of staffing shortages, the issue wouldn’t stay brand-specific “and would have people concerned about the whole industry.” However, he said that he doesn’t think cancellations on the scale recently seen by Southwest are likely to occur across the board.

It’s not just airlines that are being pinched by rising holiday demand either, but some people might prefer to travel by car to their destinations, a proposition that also comes with hassles and high costs.

“The demand for rental — anything rental right now — RVs, cars, it’s really high, and so if you want to travel over the holiday season, you really need to be booking that now,” Jones said.

Original Location: Staffing shortages expected to affect holiday travel

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Book your holiday flights now, travel experts say


Travel experts are predicting a busy holiday travel season. They estimate Americans will be flying to visit family and friends in much greater numbers than last year, thanks in large part to rising vaccinations and lower infection rates in many states. 

Major airlines are already starting to add more flights to meet demand, said Clint Henderson, senior news editor for the online travel guide The Points Guy.

“We’re seeing an explosion in demand. In fact, prices are high and climbing already,” Henderson said. “The domestic demand is almost at pre-pandemic levels, and airlines are adding tons of flights, especially to warm-weather destinations.” 

Travelers should be ready for possible disruptions in service like we saw recently with Southwest Airlines.

“It’s been a bit of a mess for a few airlines a few times this year, mostly attributable to staff shortages,” Henderson said. “We expect that to continue to be a problem as we get toward the end of the year, especially for airlines like Southwest and American, where the pilots’ unions have been irritated over vaccine mandates by the airlines.”

The cost of airline tickets is expected to continue going up.

And although Delta Air Lines posted a $1.2 billion profit for the third quarter, the airline warned that rising fuel prices and higher labor costs could mean higher fares.

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Airlines are scrambling to fill thousands of jobs due to employees leaving during the pandemic

“Normally we say wait and see what might happen to prices but with fuel costs going up and shortages of pilots, crew, flight attendants and seats — because, remember, not all airlines are fully back up to pre-pandemic capacity — we’re saying that you should book right now,” Henderson said.

If you have any unused airline miles now is the time to use them, especially if your flight gets canceled you will still be able to rebook using miles without losing any money.



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Why you should buy travel insurance for your holiday trip


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Lori Judd knows a lot about planning vacations.

She’s been planning trips and getaways for nearly three decades. The longtime, licensed agent with Prestige Travel Vacations says now, more than ever, people should purchase travel insurance when planning a vacation, as too many things can go wrong.

Over the weekend, thousands of Southwest Airlines flights were canceled, and the disruptions continued Monday, when cancellations amounted to 10% of Southwest’s schedule, and at least 1,400 other flights, or roughly 40%, were delayed, according to the FlightAware tracking service. 

Many passengers were stuck in airports, scrambling to find a way to get home. One couple at the Tampa International Airport told WFLA they paid as much as $1,000 in additional costs. The airline has blamed everything from air traffic control issues, to disruptive weather, to staffing shortages.

With the holidays fast approaching, experts are predicting travel this season to reach pre-pandemic levels.

“It’s time we have to get back to life, and you need to cover those trip costs,” Judd said.

Passengers can protect themselves during the upcoming travel season by purchasing travel insurance ahead of time, experts say.

“I say that it’s highly recommended, and I give you the price upfront with trip insurance included because it is so important,” Judd told WFLA.

The question of whether to get travel insurance is top of mind for many right now as travel troubles continue to plague the country. Judd said purchasing travel insurance is absolutely worth it.

“I don’t believe it should be an add-on anymore in this day and age,” Judd explained. “It’s just too many things that can happen.”

She said she not only recommends insurance, but she also buys it herself for every trip she takes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a huge savings. So if you purchase it upfront and if you purchase it within seven to 14 days, it covers preexisting. You can get ‘cancel-for-any-reason’ for an extra benefit. Cancel for work reasons. There’s a lot of people who can’t go because, you know, last-minute, their boss says, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, but you have to do ‘this.’ I know you have a trip, but sorry,’” Judd remarked.

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With frequent delays and cancellations, along with the possibility of passengers testing positive for COVID-19, Judd advises not to take any chances.

“You have to test negative coming into the country if you fly out of the country. So, a lot of people don’t think about that extra cost they’re going to incur. And, the travel trip insurance will then help cover some of those extra amenities,” Judd said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Chicago Travel Advisory Update Delayed Due to Holiday Weekend – NBC Chicago


Chicago’s travel advisory was slated to be updated Tuesday afternoon, but city health officials said a delay in data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to the long holiday weekend has delayed the city’s update.

“Our weekly COVID Travel Advisory is delayed this week because updated CDC COVID data wasn’t available late Monday because of the federal holiday,” the department posted on social media. “Once the most recent data is available, the travel advisory will be updated later today (Oct. 12) or Wednesday (Oct. 13).”

The advisory, updated weekly, dropped last week to 47 states and three territories, as Connecticut was removed from the city’s warning list, officials announced.

The city’s health department said Connecticut saw its daily case rate drop below the threshold for being on the travel advisory and stay below that threshold for two straight weeks.

Connecticut, California and Puerto Rico were the only locations not on the city’s advisory during the last update. Officials noted, however, that the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Louisiana were close to coming off the list.

States are added to the advisory’s “orange list” when COVID metrics rise above the threshold of 15 cases per day per 100,000 people. Any below that mark are on the “yellow” list, with public health officials still warning against non-essential travel.

“If you are traveling, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated – especially if you are unvaccinated – please do not take COVID lightly,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement. “We still have a long way to go before we can all confidently travel safely throughout the country. COVID is a threat to everyone – but the threat is reduced tremendously if you are vaccinated.”  

States and territories currently on the advisory include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands.  

Just before the Labor Day, the city updated its guidance for what unvaccinated travelers visiting or returning from such locations should do, adding new testing and quarantining recommendations before and after travel.

According to the city, before travel, unvaccinated individuals should:

  • Get tested 3-5 days prior to departure.

While traveling:

  • ALL individuals regardless of vaccination status should wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • In Chicago, wear a mask in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Avoid crowds, try to stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you, and wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).

 After travel, unvaccinated individuals should:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days.
  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
  • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

The city advised all travelers to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if they develop any after travel.

“We have seen and know that travel is a significant risk factor for acquiring COVID,” Arwady said. “If you decide not to get tested, the recommendation is actually to stay home and self quarantine for 10 days after travel, and you should avoid being around anybody who has an increased risk for severe COVID outcomes for 14 days after travel regardless of whether you get tested or not. Obviously we want anybody who’s traveling to self monitor for COVID symptoms and get tested if you develop symptoms.”

This week’s update to the travel advisory comes at a time when the average daily number of new cases in Chicago is down to 352 per day – remaining flat from the previous week.

That figure is still much higher than the low of 34 the city saw in late June but remains lower than the more than 700 cases per day the city was seeing during the most recent surge earlier this year.

Hospitalizations in Chicago are down 16% from the previous week, and deaths are down 46% from the week prior, per the city’s data. The positivity rate in testing is down to 2.2% this week, a drop from 2.3% in the last week.

Arwady noted last month that about 99% of new COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated individuals.

The travel advisory is updated every Tuesday, with any changes taking effect the following Friday.



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Why you should get travel insurance for your holiday trip


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Lori Judd knows a lot about planning vacations.

She’s been planning successful trips and getaways for nearly three decades. The longtime, licensed agent with Prestige Travel Vacations says now, more than ever, people should purchase travel insurance when planning a vacation.

She says in today’s travel world too many things can go wrong.

“It’s time we have to get back to life, and you need to cover those trip costs,” Judd said.

Passengers can protect themselves during the upcoming travel season, experts say, by purchasing travel insurance ahead of them, describing it as the key to a calm journey.

“I say that it’s highly recommended, and I give you the price upfront with trip insurance included because it is so important,” Judd told 8 On Your Side.

With the holidays fast approaching, those same experts are predicting travel this season to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Right now, Southwest Airlines is still facing countless flight delays, and that’s left many travelers scrambling to try and get home.

Thousands of flights were canceled over the weekend, and the disruptions continued Monday.

Many passengers were stranded in cities like Tampa, some of them stuck in the airport paying as much as $1,000 in additional costs. The airline blamed everything from air traffic control issues, to disruptive weather, to staffing shortages.

The question of whether to get travel insurance is top of mind for many right now, as travel troubles continue to plague the country.

Judd says purchasing travel insurance is absolutely worth it.

“I don’t believe it should be an add-on anymore in this day and age,” Judd explained. “There’s too many things that can happen.”

Judd says she not only recommends insurance, but she also buys it herself for every trip she takes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extra money, Judd told us, will pay for itself in peace of mind, which is priceless during a season shaping up to be busier than ever.

“It’s a huge savings. If you purchase it upfront, with 7-14 days, it covers preexisting, you can get ‘cancel-for-any-reason,’ you can get ‘cancel-for-work’ because a lot of bosses will say, oh you can’t go. I know you have a trip, but sorry,” Judd remarked.

With delays and constant cancellations in today’s current travel conditions, along with the possibility of passengers testing positive for COVID-19, Judd advises not to take any chances.

“You have to test negative flying into the country if you fly out of the country. So, a lot of people don’t think about that extra cost they’re going to incur. And, the travel and trip insurance will then help cover those extra amenities,” Judd said.



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Share a tip on autumn colours in the UK for a chance to win a £200 holiday voucher | Travel


As the foliage turns from summer greens to the yellows, reds and golds of autumn it is time to savour the changing seasons and take an opportunity to head into the outdoors for some leaf peeping.

Tell us where can you enjoy a magnificent autumn display with an abundance of fiery, colourful foliage – whether it’s a park, a beauty spot or a woodland walk, maybe with a pub or coffee shop on the way – with websites and prices where appropriate.

If you have a relevant photo, do send it in – but it’s your words that will be judged for the competition.

Keep your tip to about 100 words

The best tip of the week, chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet, will win a £200 voucher to stay at a Sawday’s property – the company has more than 3,000 in the UK and Europe. The best tips will appear on the Guardian Travel website, and maybe in the paper, too.

We’re sorry, but for legal reasons you must be a UK resident to enter this competition.

The competition closes on 19 October at 9am BST

Have a look at our past winners and other tips

Read the terms and conditions here

If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here and privacy policy here



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Why you should you get travel insurance for your holiday trip


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Lori Judd knows a lot about planning vacations.

She’s been planning successful trips and getaways for nearly three decades. The longtime, licensed agent with Prestige Travel Vacations says now, more than ever, people should purchase travel insurance when planning a vacation.

She says in today’s travel world too many things can go wrong.

“It’s time we have to get back to life, and you need to cover those trip costs,” Judd said.

Passengers can protect themselves during the upcoming travel season, experts say, by purchasing travel insurance ahead of them, describing it as the key to a calm journey.

“I say that it’s highly recommended, and I give you the price upfront with trip insurance included because it is so important,” Judd told 8 On Your Side.

With the holidays fast approaching, those same experts are predicting travel this season to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Right now, Southwest Airlines is still facing countless flight delays, and that’s left many travelers scrambling to try and get home.

Thousands of flights were canceled over the weekend, and the disruptions continued Monday.

Many passengers were stranded in cities like Tampa, some of them stuck in the airport paying as much as $1,000 in additional costs. The airline blamed everything from air traffic control issues, to disruptive weather, to staffing shortages.

The question of whether to get travel insurance is top of mind for many right now, as travel troubles continue to plague the country.

Judd says purchasing travel insurance is absolutely worth it.

“I don’t believe it should be an add-on anymore in this day and age,” Judd explained. “There’s too many things that can happen.”

Judd says she not only recommends insurance, but she also buys it herself for every trip she takes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extra money, Judd told us, will pay for itself in peace of mind, which is priceless during a season shaping up to be busier than ever.

“It’s a huge savings. If you purchase it upfront, with 7-14 days, it covers preexisting, you can get ‘cancel-for-any-reason,’ you can get ‘cancel-for-work’ because a lot of bosses will say, oh you can’t go. I know you have a trip, but sorry,” Judd remarked.

With delays and constant cancellations in today’s current travel conditions, along with the possibility of passengers testing positive for COVID-19, Judd advises not to take any chances.

“You have to test negative flying into the country if you fly out of the country. So, a lot of people don’t think about that extra cost they’re going to incur. And, the travel and trip insurance will then help cover those extra amenities,” Judd said.



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Busy Holiday Weekend Brings Operational Woes to Southwest


Southwest Airlines’ cancellation rate slowed on Monday following a weekend of widespread delays, speculation and finger-pointing.

As of midday Monday, Southwest had canceled 365 flights, about 10 percent of its schedule, and was seeing delays on just under 20 percent of its flights, according to FlightAware data. By comparison, Sunday saw 30 percent of Southwest’s flights canceled, and the carrier canceled more than 2,000 flights over the holiday weekend, citing “[Air Traffic Control] issues and disruptive weather.”

Southwest was alone among its peers in the rough weekend, with no other major carriers reporting delays or cancellations of a similar magnitude. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday said that it had experienced delays and cancellations “for a few hours Friday [afternoon] due to widespread severe weather, military training and limited staffing in one area of the Jacksonville, [Fla.], en route center” but had no air traffic staffing shortages reported since. It added that “some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place.”

Such challenges are not a total surprise, as several U.S. airlines, including Southwest, saw operational challenges over the summer as they faced the growing pains of returning to pre-pandemic flight capacity while bringing staff and aircraft back online. Southwest on Sunday, a traditionally busy weekend with Monday’s U.S. federal holiday, was flying more than 90 percent of its capacity compared with 2019, according to Cirium data.

There was added speculation that Southwest’s challenges over the weekend stemmed from staffing shortages related to its recently announced Covid-19 vaccine mandate. Southwest last week said it would require all employees not eligible for exemptions to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8 to comply with President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 action plan, which requires companies with contracted federal government business to have a fully vaccinated workforce. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) threw fuel on that speculation by tweeting a link to a CNBC story about Southwest’s cancellations and calling it “Joe Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate at work,” though he offered no evidence to support those claims.

Southwest has said the cancellations have no relation to the vaccine mandate, and while its pilots’ union, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, did ask a federal court in Dallas on Friday to block the carrier from imposing the mandate, the union in a statement over the weekend said its pilots were “not participating in any official or nonofficial job actions.”

“Our pilots will continue to overcome [Southwest’s] management’s poor planning, as well as any external operational challenges, and remain the most productive pilots in the world,” according to the union’s statement.



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