Southwest Airlines has been in the midst of a technology outage causing delays and cancellations for hundreds of thousands passengers, but one group its causing havoc on is its flight attendants– some of which had to stay overnight in airports as they didn’t have any hotel rooms for them.
Per the Chicago Business Journal,
In the wake of Wednesday’s massive technology meltdown at Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the second such outage in just a week’s time, tens of thousands of the carrier’s passengers continued to be massively inconvenienced as Southwest canceled hundreds more flights today and struggled to deal with customer outrage at the way the mess was being handled in excruciatingly slow fashion by Southwest’s notoriously lean customer service staff.
Since Wednesday many photos have been shared among flight attendants that show stranded Southwest FAs sleeping overnight in airport terminals because the carrier was unable to provide accommodations when the meltdown began on Wednesday. Sources among the ranks of Southwest flight attendants reacted to the images being shared with understandable disgust. Noted one veteran FA who has worked for Southwest for more than two decades: “In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would see this.”
For flight attendants, the operational difficulties they have encountered at the hands of Southwest the past three days gnaw even more because they are still locked in contract negotiations that have dragged on for years and years, with no end in sight. Audrey Stone, head of Transport Workers Union Local 556, that represents Southwest flight attendants, did not immediately respond to a call for comment today.
Southwest Airlines is doing everything it can to get its flights back up and running and its crews where they need to be. One flight attendant told us the airline is even offering to pay flight attendants double to work some flights in hopes of not having to cancel anymore flights.