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Southwest Airlines flight cancellations, delays continue

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Southwest Airlines canceled a half dozen flights Monday in Indianapolis and hundreds more across the country.

The cancellations follow a weekend of major service disruptions.

According to FlightAware, the carrier canceled more than 300 flights Monday and delayed more than 1,000 other flights.

“Usually, Southwest does a lot better than this,” said John Gurka, a flyer from Denver.

Gurka is just one of many Southwest Airlines passengers who got their flights canceled or delayed on Monday at Indianapolis International Airport. The airline canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend, blaming air traffic control issues and weather.

“Everything looked good, and then I started seeing the delays when it was time to leave for the airport and just more delays and uncertainty even at the Southwest desk. They don’t know why the flight hasn’t left Sarasota,” Floriday, Gurka said.

“Maybe around 11 o’clock they kept delaying it 10, 20 minutes, another 10, 20 minutes,” said John’s father, Stan Gurka.

John Gurka and his two sons have been trying to fly to Denver. Their flight was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. EST Monday. John came to Indianapolis to visit his parents after not seeing them for over a year because of the pandemic.

“Based on what happened I’m just not going to hold my breath to go home. I’m going to try to be flexible, but I feel sorry for the travelers that had strict obligations or didn’t pack enough medication,” John Gurka said.

The widespread disruptions began shortly after the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, representing 9,000 pilots, asked a federal court on Friday to block the airline’s order that all employees get vaccinated. The union argued that Southwest must negotiate over the issue because it could involve sick leave or disability if pilots have a reaction to the vaccine.

“We are not anti-vaccination at all, but our pilots are extremely worried about how their medicals are going to be handled” if they are unable to fly, union president Casey Murray told The Associated Press. Murray said pilots had not staged a sickout because of the vaccine mandate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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