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Southwest Airlines slaps passengers, pilots

The airline COO is showing up in the Senate and his remarks should piss you off (airline pilots certainly do).

Southwest Airlines (Luv)- Get Free Report wants to blame something other than their unwillingness to invest in keeping their software up to date in a holiday malfunction that has stranded tens of thousands of passengers.

The airline is going on a little apology tour, spearheaded by CEO Bob Jordan.

“This affected so many people — so many customers — during the holidays,” CEO Bob Jordan said in an interview with ABC. good morning america“I am terribly sorry. There are few ways to apologize enough.”

The CEO continued to offer financial compensation to those affected, but he held them accountable for the breakdowns, with nearly 16,000 flights canceled.

“This was an unprecedented storm for everyone, for all airlines,” Jordan said. It made an impact.”

That’s what Southwest COO Andrew Watterson said more or less during his testimony before the US Senate.

“Let me be clear, we messed up,” he said. “We weren’t resilient enough for winter operations.”

Both Jordan and Watterson want the public (and apparently the U.S. government) to believe that the storm caused the failure. In reality, the storm was just an inevitable straw breaking the camel’s back.

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Southwest’s own pilots saw this coming

Southwest’s executives acknowledged that their software ultimately played a role in the holiday meltdown, but acted like it was a secondary factor. Essentially, they argue that the flawed old software wouldn’t have been a problem if it hadn’t been for the storm.

“I think the resilience of winter operations is the root cause and it will take time to deal with it, so that’s what I’m going to focus on most of the time,” Watterson told U.S. senators.

The airline’s own pilots have big issues with that argument, detailed publicly by the Southwest Air Pilots Association (SWAPA) letter.

“Southwest Airlines system-wide meltdowns have increased in frequency and severity over the last 15 years. From the hypothetical “router brownout” (2016) to the “Jacksonville Center debacle” (Columbus Day weekend in October 2021) to what we are experiencing today,” the letter proclaimed.

SWAPA President Casey Murray revealed at a Senate hearing that not only did SWAPA anticipate this happening, but that it had repeatedly warned airline management.

“Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The Southwest has a history that repeats itself.” Malay Said. “Unfortunately, despite many opportunities, Southwest Airlines management did not listen to the pilots and frontline employees who saw this meltdown coming.”

Southwest executives ignored warnings

Southwest Airlines and its pilots are currently negotiating a new contract, and it’s safe to say there’s animosity between the two sides. The reasons for withdrawing are very limited.

Basically, the SWAPA letter warned people not to fly Southwest Airlines unless management made major changes. This seems like something a pilot would only consider if there was a real problem that needed fixing.

“There has never been a real accountability of decision makers as a result of either of these debacles, or the many smaller debacles in between.” If the saying is true, if the same people are allowed to do the same thing over and over again, what is it? Insanity at its best? ” The letter continued

Basically, the pilot believes former CEO Gary Kelly started the company on a path that led to the current situation that current management chose not to fix.

“As CEO, Gary Kelly made the conscious decision to invest more than necessary in technology upgrades in order to maximize shareholder returns because he said, ‘Our technology has been working fine for 20 years. Because it works.’ While we can’t argue with Gary’s financial acumen, his poor operational leadership and poor judgment were repeatedly shown during each of the meltdowns, ultimately leading to my loss. It became clear in the current situation we are in,” the pilot added.

Southwest pledges to spend $1.3 billion on technology upgrades, even though its COO sees “winter resilience” as a key issue (or at least it says so during testimony). increase.

https://www.thestreet.com/travel/southwest-airlines-slaps-passengers-pilots-in-the-face Southwest Airlines slaps passengers, pilots

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