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USAirALB
Posts: 2711
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:46 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:08 pm

I am not a law or legal expert, but can someone explain to me how what they are doing is legal? To me, it appears they are deliberately lying and placing the blame on weather and other parties (the FAA) to avoid following their Contract of Carriage in terms of accommodating customers who are impacted.
 
mcdu
Posts: 1713
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:23 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:04 pm

cdin844 wrote:
The pilot’s union said this has nothing to do with them: https://www.swapa.org/news/2021/press-release/

So what’s the deal? Is this just a huge operational disaster?


The pilots union would never admit to causing the disruption. That would create serious legal issues. What the company can do is go to court. Show sick and disruption levels ie fatigue calls pre mandate and those since. They make the case it’s an illegal job action and seek a TRO and financial penalties against the pilot group/union. This has happened in the past at AA where the pilot group was under a large fine for job actions.
 
citationjet
Posts: 2584
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 2:26 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:50 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:

FlightAware's cancellation stats for Sunday, 10/10/21:

Southwest, 1124 flights cancelled, 30% of scheduled ops

AA (mainline only), 167, 5%

United, 10, rounds to 0%

Delta, 3, rounds to 0%

The whole 'We have more flights to Florida and so were more heavily impacted' thing just fails a sniff test..


Delta had 3 cancellations and United had 10 yesterday.

Southwest needs to come up with a better excuse for their 1,124 cancellations.
 
highflier92660
Posts: 750
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 2:16 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:56 pm

USAirALB wrote:
I am not a law or legal expert, but can someone explain to me how what they are doing is legal? To me, it appears they are deliberately lying and placing the blame on weather and other parties (the FAA) to avoid following their Contract of Carriage in terms of accommodating customers who are impacted.


Apparently Southwest Airlines is running for cover, using that tried-and-true Contract of Carriage stipulation for flight cancellations: Acts of God. It's hard to fathom how Southwest can sell this excuse to even the most casual leisure traveler on a day when every other carrier was departing and blocking-in on time.

As I was going through TPA yesterday (thankfully aboard Delta) confused and disgruntled passengers were grumbling that Southwest was offering them no refunds; instead attempting to rebook them on Southwest flights, some departures days away.
 
Continental
Posts: 5224
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 3:46 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:16 pm

highflier92660 wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
I am not a law or legal expert, but can someone explain to me how what they are doing is legal? To me, it appears they are deliberately lying and placing the blame on weather and other parties (the FAA) to avoid following their Contract of Carriage in terms of accommodating customers who are impacted.


Apparently Southwest Airlines is running for cover, using that tried-and-true Contract of Carriage stipulation for flight cancellations: Acts of God. It's hard to fathom how Southwest can sell this excuse to even the most casual leisure traveler on a day when every other carrier was departing and blocking-in on time.

As I was going through TPA yesterday (thankfully aboard Delta) confused and disgruntled passengers were grumbling that Southwest was offering them no refunds; instead attempting to rebook them on Southwest flights, some departures days away.


This is why I admire the EU regulations regarding passenger rights and compensation. Imagine something like this going down in the EU?
 
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DIRECTFLT
Posts: 2718
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:00 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:44 pm

Southwest Airlines flight cancellations continue into Monday

https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-bu ... 4e1e46af0d

By late morning Monday, Southwest had canceled about 365 flights — 10% of its schedule for the day — and more than 600 others were delayed. The Dallas-based airline blamed air traffic control issues and bad weather for weekend “operational challenges” that resulted in 1,900 canceled flights on Saturday and Sunday.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which provides air traffic control services, took the unusual step of pushing back against Southwest’s explanation. Southwest Airlines was the only airline to report such a large percentage of canceled and delayed flights over the weekend.


What does an FAA "push back" actually mean???
 
citationjet
Posts: 2584
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 2:26 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:25 pm

DIRECTFLT wrote:

What does an FAA "push back" actually mean???


The FAA said in a Tweet;
“No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday”.

I think it means that the FAA doesn’t agree with being blamed for their cancellations. They don’t want to be the airline’s scapegoat.
 
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SANFan
Posts: 5756
Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 10:10 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:13 pm

Keep in mind this is a 3-day weekend for many working people; some stuff is closed today. Makes the coincidence a bit more hard to believe that the unions aren't involved and that it's just weather, etc.

Nope, this sure isn't my Dad's Southwest Airlines....
 
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AVLAirlineFreq
Posts: 1562
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:31 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:05 pm

Here is the referenced FAA tweet from early Sunday afternoon: https://twitter.com/FAANews/status/1447249660884754441
 
wnflyguy
Posts: 2558
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:58 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:22 pm

My view WN wasted hundreds of millions in the last century doing lucrative Stock buy backs instead of using those huge profits by reinvesting into modern IT technologies.
HERB always said you evolve in this industry or
You die.
Yes WN has now finally started the implementation of new technologies but with every System meltdown it just seems like too little too late.

Fingers crossed they can hear the terrain warning siren and pull up out of this repeating meltdown cycle.

Enjoy or Don’t
Flyguy
 
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par13del
Posts: 10991
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:41 pm

wnflyguy wrote:
My view WN wasted hundreds of millions in the last century doing lucrative Stock buy backs

Unlike the other airlines who made stock buy backs the great boogie man, WN has continued to be profitable while doing said buy backs.
The mantra was that they allowed two bags free because their IT could not handle it, no one booked with WN because of bag - at least no one says there are any figures to confirm -. no red eyes, international flights, etc etc etc. Now if WN has decided to upgrade their IT infrastructure in response to pressure from Wall St. types, we now have what we have.....
Maybe if they loose enough they will have to start charging for bags, change fees, implement red eyes, etc etc etc.

Anyway, was thinking of booking them for thanksgiving travel, seriously considering my alternatives, if sick days are involved, I don't think all will be cleared by then.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15186
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:43 pm

citationjet wrote:
DIRECTFLT wrote:

What does an FAA "push back" actually mean???


The FAA said in a Tweet;
“No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday”.

I think it means that the FAA doesn’t agree with being blamed for their cancellations. They don’t want to be the airline’s scapegoat.

Translation: there was a “shortage” on Friday. Not a significant weather delay.
 
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DIRECTFLT
Posts: 2718
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Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:08 am

SW is still running their ads. $59 to (maybe) get somewhere...
 
orlandocfi
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:53 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:13 pm

Shakinthefat wrote:
Do SWA flight attendants get a FAA mandated 48 hrs off duty after jab? Or just the pilots?


Flight attendants do not hold FAA Medical certificates, so that 48 hour requirement does not apply.
 
airplaneboy
Posts: 811
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 11:59 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:21 pm

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly speaks out.

https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/news ... tgvst69P2I
 
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Tugger
Posts: 11532
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Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:25 pm

And so does Capt. Casey Murray, president of SWAPA:
said that was not the case and that the airline's pilot sick rate for this weekend was "right in line with what was occurring this summer."

"So outside of air traffic control and weather, you point the blame squarely where?" CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett asked.

"Squarely on Southwest, I point to how they manage the network and how their I.T. also supports that network. Once a little hiccup occurs due to the internal processes, our pilots aren't getting to where they need to be. We've been sounding this alarm for about four years and have seen very little approach to correcting it," Murray said.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/southwest- ... president/

So the problem is systemic and NOT pilots and others doing secret actions against the vaccine mandate.

And quite frankly the systemic nature does explains the persistence of the failure. (And I would not put it past opportunistic individuals, "encouraged" by incorrect information/rumors to exacerbate the situation.)

Tugg
 
orlandocfi
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:53 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:03 pm

The meltdown seemed to be a confluence of multiple events where even the slightest irregularity would send the frazzled network into chaos. When combined with the JAX center and wx issues, a small uptick in maintenance issues or sick calls would have been enough to trigger a meltdown. I’m sure this isn’t the legacy GK wants to leave after he retires, but it is years in the making.
 
wnflyguy
Posts: 2558
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:58 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:44 pm

Tugger wrote:
And so does Capt. Casey Murray, president of SWAPA:
said that was not the case and that the airline's pilot sick rate for this weekend was "right in line with what was occurring this summer."

"So outside of air traffic control and weather, you point the blame squarely where?" CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett asked.

"Squarely on Southwest, I point to how they manage the network and how their I.T. also supports that network. Once a little hiccup occurs due to the internal processes, our pilots aren't getting to where they need to be. We've been sounding this alarm for about four years and have seen very little approach to correcting it," Murray said.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/southwest- ... president/

So the problem is systemic and NOT pilots and others doing secret actions against the vaccine mandate.

And quite frankly the systemic nature does explains the persistence of the failure. (And I would not put it past opportunistic individuals, "encouraged" by incorrect information/rumors to exacerbate the situation.)

Tugg


While the FAA doesn’t want to take the blame of this WN has done a quite well at explaining why the JAX center short staffing caused this Snow ball meltdown.
WN has said 90% of its eastern half of its network feeds Florida. With WN being the biggest airline in
MCO and TPA the short staffed JAX center forced a flow control program into place with the Thunderstorms reroutes around Florida shot Delays Thru a Vast majority of WN network to 5 hours plus.
This compounded with the FAA duty day time out and 10hr rest requirements for pilots caused the Airline to cancel hundreds of flights to keep pilots legal and minimize a
Complete Network meltdown. Unfortunately the lack of staffing by the JAX center on Friday resulted in a Snow ball effect for WN to get crews back into there scheduled places. Unlike a weather event in cities like Chicago,Denver or Las Vegas most flights to and from Florida don’t have the overfly flexibility to quickly recover and isolate the situation all the while trying to meet the FAA requirements for
The pilots duty day time out and 10 hour rest requirements. Unlike times before these safety requirements you can no longer just run out the delayed flights with a longer day.
The 10hr rest requirements snow ball into the next day because pilots can’t just flip the Switch and start over the next day.
A WN dispatcher sent me a personal message in regards to my Lack of IT investment post.
He said “
ALL the technology in the world still wouldn’t have fixed the Forced ATC flow system because they didn’t have the staffing. Even if WN had every Pilot Vaccinated and a extra 1000 reserve pilots sitting around on Friday and it still wouldn’t have prevented or fixed the massive cancellation caused by the JAX short staffing resulting in massive ATC delays.
Example we had FULL crew staffing and then some when Chicago ATC system shutdown because of Covid. It’s still caused WN to cancel hundreds of flights for days on end and strand thousands because of it.
Like the Vaccination Mandate everyone trying to shift blame for political reasons stirring up there own agendas.
Unfortunately in this day and age the Truth is nobody can handle the truth and would rather hear a cracked out conspiracy theory that feeds their own denial of the Brass Tax. While I do agree We do need to keep updating our IT system at WN (which we currently are doing OTIS is getting a much needed came changing 2021 Technology update very soon.) The Federal government officials have continued to ignore the Centry old needs to upgrade the 1950 ATC system. Republicans and Democratics continue to FAIL the American public year after year. Spend trillions on wars but zero on ATC technology.”

Enjoy or Don’t
Flyguy
 
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BMWdrvr75
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:23 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:06 pm

Southwest needs to grow up and re-think it’s operational strategy, every time there is any type of irregularity they have a break down because of the way the schedule aircraft, schedule crews, and do things differently than other airlines. Southwest is no longer are the quirky little airline flying intra-Texas, California etc. They are the largest domestic carrier and needs to start planning as such. Captain Murray is 100% correct in leadership needs to take a good hard lol at this systemic problem. Last month the meltdown was blamed on the flight attendants this month the meltdown is blamed on the pilots inevitably there will be another meltdown next month who are they gonna blame then??
 
mcdu
Posts: 1713
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:23 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:08 pm

wnflyguy wrote:
Tugger wrote:
And so does Capt. Casey Murray, president of SWAPA:
said that was not the case and that the airline's pilot sick rate for this weekend was "right in line with what was occurring this summer."

"So outside of air traffic control and weather, you point the blame squarely where?" CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett asked.

"Squarely on Southwest, I point to how they manage the network and how their I.T. also supports that network. Once a little hiccup occurs due to the internal processes, our pilots aren't getting to where they need to be. We've been sounding this alarm for about four years and have seen very little approach to correcting it," Murray said.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/southwest- ... president/

So the problem is systemic and NOT pilots and others doing secret actions against the vaccine mandate.

And quite frankly the systemic nature does explains the persistence of the failure. (And I would not put it past opportunistic individuals, "encouraged" by incorrect information/rumors to exacerbate the situation.)

Tugg


While the FAA doesn’t want to take the blame of this WN has done a quite well at explaining why the JAX center short staffing caused this Snow ball meltdown.
WN has said 90% of its eastern half of its network feeds Florida. With WN being the biggest airline in
MCO and TPA the short staffed JAX center forced a flow control program into place with the Thunderstorms reroutes around Florida shot Delays Thru a Vast majority of WN network to 5 hours plus.
This compounded with the FAA duty day time out and 10hr rest requirements for pilots caused the Airline to cancel hundreds of flights to keep pilots legal and minimize a
Complete Network meltdown. Unfortunately the lack of staffing by the JAX center on Friday resulted in a Snow ball effect for WN to get crews back into there scheduled places. Unlike a weather event in cities like Chicago,Denver or Las Vegas most flights to and from Florida don’t have the overfly flexibility to quickly recover and isolate the situation all the while trying to meet the FAA requirements for
The pilots duty day time out and 10 hour rest requirements. Unlike times before these safety requirements you can no longer just run out the delayed flights with a longer day.
The 10hr rest requirements snow ball into the next day because pilots can’t just flip the Switch and start over the next day.
A WN dispatcher sent me a personal message in regards to my Lack of IT investment post.
He said “
ALL the technology in the world still wouldn’t have fixed the Forced ATC flow system because they didn’t have the staffing. Even if WN had every Pilot Vaccinated and a extra 1000 reserve pilots sitting around on Friday and it still wouldn’t have prevented or fixed the massive cancellation caused by the JAX short staffing resulting in massive ATC delays.
Example we had FULL crew staffing and then some when Chicago ATC system shutdown because of Covid. It’s still caused WN to cancel hundreds of flights for days on end and strand thousands because of it.
Like the Vaccination Mandate everyone trying to shift blame for political reasons stirring up there own agendas.
Unfortunately in this day and age the Truth is nobody can handle the truth and would rather hear a cracked out conspiracy theory that feeds their own denial of the Brass Tax. While I do agree We do need to keep updating our IT system at WN (which we currently are doing OTIS is getting a much needed came changing 2021 Technology update very soon.) The Federal government officials have continued to ignore the Centry old needs to upgrade the 1950 ATC system. Republicans and Democratics continue to FAIL the American public year after year. Spend trillions on wars but zero on ATC technology.”

Enjoy or Don’t
Flyguy


Yet it didn’t impact spirit with its large FL presence. Didn’t hit DL with all their flights via JAX center or any of the other carriers with ops that DAY. SW is still at a huge delay rate today that will result in cancels tonight. Your own CEO called it absenteeism at SW that caused the issue.

The lie gets worse with the benefit of time since the event, evidence and admission. Customers will accept a lot of excuses but lies drive them away. Have you seen the video of “Noman Dates” being pages to the SW ticket counter in SAN?

While SW employees may feel they are taking a stand. They are getting there by stepping on their customers who may be in favor of vaccine mandates. Do you really want to alienate your customers?
 
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lightsaber
Moderator
Posts: 23090
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Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:01 am

Discuss Southwest fleet in this thread. Take vaccine discussion to non-Av.

Provide sources.
 
Jshank83
Posts: 4580
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:23 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:25 am

Looks the the schedule extension for summer gets released on Dec 8
 
tax1k
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:02 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:34 am

As a complete ignoramus relative to most posters here, I would think that the main advantage of having a basically interchangeable fleet would be that it would be easier to avoid this kind of disaster. Is that wrong?
 
orlandocfi
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:53 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:13 am

tax1k wrote:
As a complete ignoramus relative to most posters here, I would think that the main advantage of having a basically interchangeable fleet would be that it would be easier to avoid this kind of disaster. Is that wrong?


Having multiple fleet types certainly would have exacerbated the situation. There were multiple irregularities that led to this meltdown, but lack of manpower is what hampered the recovery. Being overworked and understaffed is a recipe for operational disaster at a company the size of Southwest.
 
UALFAson
Posts: 1188
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:41 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:48 am

tax1k wrote:
As a complete ignoramus relative to most posters here, I would think that the main advantage of having a basically interchangeable fleet would be that it would be easier to avoid this kind of disaster. Is that wrong?


While that can be an advantage with a one-off delay, that only works if you have extra planes and crews sitting around that can be pulled at a moment's notice.

Another contributing factor is WN's point-to-point network. That's great when things go well and passengers can fly nonstop while avoiding a hub. But while UA may fly a plane DEN-BNA-DEN or IAH-BNA-IAH, for example, minimizing irregular operations if they do happen, a co-worker's delayed plane on Friday was routed SAT-BWI-FLL-BNA-MCI-MDW-DCA. If, say, the FLL-BNA segment gets delayed or cancelled due to weather or some issue (which is what happened), that's a lot of downline segments that now suddenly don't have a plane or crew. Again, unless the airline has extra planes and crews just sitting around at BNA, it doesn't matter whether they have to pull another 737 or a 777.
 
Wneast
Posts: 1067
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:37 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:55 am

I imagine with this operation disaster happening again we won’t be seeing signs of new announced nonstops I imagine
 
Flflyer83
Posts: 192
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:40 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:56 am

Wneast wrote:
I imagine with this operation disaster happening again we won’t be seeing signs of new announced nonstops I imagine

I agree. I believe we will be seeing more cuts in short order.
 
mcdu
Posts: 1713
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:23 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:42 pm

Flflyer83 wrote:
Wneast wrote:
I imagine with this operation disaster happening again we won’t be seeing signs of new announced nonstops I imagine

I agree. I believe we will be seeing more cuts in short order.



Perhaps the SW model is not scaleable. They have reached critical mass and can no longer grow their operation. There is the likelihood almost daily of ATC reroutes and weather related events to impact them. Their operation can not support any operational challenges according to many so maybe it is time to wind it down to a manageable level?
 
orlandocfi
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:53 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:32 pm

mcdu wrote:
Flflyer83 wrote:
Wneast wrote:
I imagine with this operation disaster happening again we won’t be seeing signs of new announced nonstops I imagine

I agree. I believe we will be seeing more cuts in short order.



Perhaps the SW model is not scaleable. They have reached critical mass and can no longer grow their operation. There is the likelihood almost daily of ATC reroutes and weather related events to impact them. Their operation can not support any operational challenges according to many so maybe it is time to wind it down to a manageable level?


It is no secret that an ambitious schedule was planned in order to take advantage of the current travel boom. Unfortunately, bare-bones staffing in a complex network the size of WN is a recipe for disaster. You are correct in suggesting that the operation needs to be optimized for current staffing levels.
 
jplatts
Posts: 5079
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:53 pm

orlandocfi wrote:
Flflyer83 wrote:
I agree. I believe we will be seeing more cuts in short order.


It is no secret that an ambitious schedule was planned in order to take advantage of the current travel boom. Unfortunately, bare-bones staffing in a complex network the size of WN is a recipe for disaster. You are correct in suggesting that the operation needs to be optimized for current staffing levels.


There are some stations in the WN network where demand for WN service is likely to exceed pre-pandemic levels in Summer 2022 such as BOI, CVG, DSM, GRR, GSP, HNL, KOA, LGB, OGG, MEM, ORF, MCO, ECP, PNS, PWM, RIC, RSW, SJU, and SNA.

One challenge that WN faces is that WN needs to maintain enough capacity in these markets to cover the demand that is likely to be there.

How can WN manage to get things operationally stable but maintain enough service to markets such as the ones I listed above?
 
orlandocfi
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:53 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:19 pm

jplatts wrote:
orlandocfi wrote:
Flflyer83 wrote:
I agree. I believe we will be seeing more cuts in short order.


It is no secret that an ambitious schedule was planned in order to take advantage of the current travel boom. Unfortunately, bare-bones staffing in a complex network the size of WN is a recipe for disaster. You are correct in suggesting that the operation needs to be optimized for current staffing levels.


There are some stations in the WN network where demand for WN service is likely to exceed pre-pandemic levels in Summer 2022 such as BOI, CVG, DSM, GRR, GSP, HNL, KOA, LGB, OGG, MEM, ORF, MCO, ECP, PNS, PWM, RIC, RSW, SJU, and SNA.

One challenge that WN faces is that WN needs to maintain enough capacity in these markets to cover the demand that is likely to be there.

How can WN manage to get things operationally stable but maintain enough service to markets such as the ones I listed above?


WN won’t be able to un-ring this bell, but can certainly prevent any further resonating effects by optimizing the schedule for near term staffing levels. They have already committed to reducing flights over the next couple months. Passengers that were expecting nonstop or one-stop trips might have two stops on their way to destinations. I think things will be back to normal by next spring, just in time for the -7 to start service!
 
asteriskceo
Posts: 515
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:42 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:04 pm

mcdu wrote:
Flflyer83 wrote:
Wneast wrote:
I imagine with this operation disaster happening again we won’t be seeing signs of new announced nonstops I imagine

I agree. I believe we will be seeing more cuts in short order.



Perhaps the SW model is not scaleable. They have reached critical mass and can no longer grow their operation. There is the likelihood almost daily of ATC reroutes and weather related events to impact them. Their operation can not support any operational challenges according to many so maybe it is time to wind it down to a manageable level?

Agreed. The triangle that was created on a napkin is really struggling to keep it together.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 12400
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:32 pm

asteriskceo wrote:
mcdu wrote:
Flflyer83 wrote:
I agree. I believe we will be seeing more cuts in short order.



Perhaps the SW model is not scaleable. They have reached critical mass and can no longer grow their operation. There is the likelihood almost daily of ATC reroutes and weather related events to impact them. Their operation can not support any operational challenges according to many so maybe it is time to wind it down to a manageable level?

Agreed. The triangle that was created on a napkin is really struggling to keep it together.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

You guys say this as if WN just became a large airline in 2020 and haven’t been a 500+ aircraft airline for over a decade now.
 
asteriskceo
Posts: 515
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:42 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:39 pm

Polot wrote:
asteriskceo wrote:
mcdu wrote:


Perhaps the SW model is not scaleable. They have reached critical mass and can no longer grow their operation. There is the likelihood almost daily of ATC reroutes and weather related events to impact them. Their operation can not support any operational challenges according to many so maybe it is time to wind it down to a manageable level?

Agreed. The triangle that was created on a napkin is really struggling to keep it together.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

You guys say this as if WN just became a large airline in 2020 and haven’t been a 500+ aircraft airline for over a decade now.

And guess what? For the last decade, they have had meltdown after meltdown after meltdown.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
FriscoHeavy
Posts: 1855
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:10 pm

asteriskceo wrote:
Polot wrote:
asteriskceo wrote:
Agreed. The triangle that was created on a napkin is really struggling to keep it together.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

You guys say this as if WN just became a large airline in 2020 and haven’t been a 500+ aircraft airline for over a decade now.

And guess what? For the last decade, they have had meltdown after meltdown after meltdown.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



...and for the last decade, they have made money hand over fist.

Give me an airline that hasn't had a meltdown. We've all (no matter what profession) have failed miserably at times.
 
asteriskceo
Posts: 515
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:42 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:15 pm

FriscoHeavy wrote:
asteriskceo wrote:
Polot wrote:
You guys say this as if WN just became a large airline in 2020 and haven’t been a 500+ aircraft airline for over a decade now.

And guess what? For the last decade, they have had meltdown after meltdown after meltdown.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



...and for the last decade, they have made money hand over fist.

Give me an airline that hasn't had a meltdown. We've all (no matter what profession) have failed miserably at times.

It’s a house of cards. They have made money through expansion. They are now giant and really have nowhere else to expand with their business model.

It’s: evolve or die now with WN.

Just watch.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 10184
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:58 pm

mcdu wrote:
Flflyer83 wrote:
Wneast wrote:
I imagine with this operation disaster happening again we won’t be seeing signs of new announced nonstops I imagine

I agree. I believe we will be seeing more cuts in short order.



Perhaps the SW model is not scaleable. They have reached critical mass and can no longer grow their operation. There is the likelihood almost daily of ATC reroutes and weather related events to impact them. Their operation can not support any operational challenges according to many so maybe it is time to wind it down to a manageable level?


Yeah, that's not going to happen. Part of the success of the model relied on continuous growth, to have a meaningful fraction of people not at top pay scales. Covid interrupted that. WN's size interferes with that - it's hard to find new routes to grow 6-8% a year when you've already got 750 mainline aircraft and don't want to operated anything other than 737s (limiting them in small markets, and essentially prohibiting anything but the most rudimentary TATL network).

WN is going to have to have resources - people, spare planes, sophisticated re-route software (even AA was doing re-routes on legal pads not long ago) to be able to operated reliably through minor weather and ATC events. They can't - and can't be allowed to - cancel 1500 flights when a butterfly flaps its wings.

The cost of those resources - lower utilization of crew and aircraft - will hurt historical margins. The stock market is goingto figure that out.

Basically, WN needs to learn to accept and manage complexity. That is not a trivial task in the airline business.
 
trueblew
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:16 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:46 pm

I think the most obvious and least-costly non-IT solution would be to "regionalize" their operations to the greatest extent possible. This would serve to insulate parts of the operation from major issues that can tend to occur in the Midatlantic, Florida and the southern Plains. Of course, some direct same-plane routing along multiple stops would have to be eliminated, but these are 737s not Greyhound busses after all (although one could argue at times they have little differentiation).
 
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OzarkD9S
Posts: 6008
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 2:31 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:20 pm

trueblew wrote:

I think the most obvious and least-costly non-IT solution would be to "regionalize" their operations to the greatest extent possible. This would serve to insulate parts of the operation from major issues that can tend to occur in the Midatlantic, Florida and the southern Plains. Of course, some direct same-plane routing along multiple stops would have to be eliminated, but these are 737s not Greyhound busses after all (although one could argue at times they have little differentiation).


I concur to an extent. The days of an aircraft operating say TPA-BWI-BUF-MDW-STL-HOU-SMF-PDX or whatever may need to be re-evaluated. Dare I say planes need to be "hub" based with out and backs with some random planes doing the one-off P2P flights? A plane that starts the day in MDW for example ends the day back at MDW. This may wreak havoc on their flexibility but WN is becoming more and more "hub" oriented, and may have to rethink their scheduling.
 
Flflyer83
Posts: 192
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:40 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:24 pm

OzarkD9S wrote:
trueblew wrote:

I think the most obvious and least-costly non-IT solution would be to "regionalize" their operations to the greatest extent possible. This would serve to insulate parts of the operation from major issues that can tend to occur in the Midatlantic, Florida and the southern Plains. Of course, some direct same-plane routing along multiple stops would have to be eliminated, but these are 737s not Greyhound busses after all (although one could argue at times they have little differentiation).


I concur to an extent. The days of an aircraft operating say TPA-BWI-BUF-MDW-STL-HOU-SMF-PDX or whatever may need to be re-evaluated. Dare I say planes need to be "hub" based with out and backs with some random planes doing the one-off P2P flights? A plane that starts the day in MDW for example ends the day back at MDW. This may wreak havoc on their flexibility but WN is becoming more and more "hub" oriented, and may have to rethink their scheduling.


And how does that work with maintenance? They rotate through the maintenance cities for routine matters and on a schedule.
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 4802
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:43 pm

Flflyer83 wrote:
OzarkD9S wrote:
trueblew wrote:

I think the most obvious and least-costly non-IT solution would be to "regionalize" their operations to the greatest extent possible. This would serve to insulate parts of the operation from major issues that can tend to occur in the Midatlantic, Florida and the southern Plains. Of course, some direct same-plane routing along multiple stops would have to be eliminated, but these are 737s not Greyhound busses after all (although one could argue at times they have little differentiation).


I concur to an extent. The days of an aircraft operating say TPA-BWI-BUF-MDW-STL-HOU-SMF-PDX or whatever may need to be re-evaluated. Dare I say planes need to be "hub" based with out and backs with some random planes doing the one-off P2P flights? A plane that starts the day in MDW for example ends the day back at MDW. This may wreak havoc on their flexibility but WN is becoming more and more "hub" oriented, and may have to rethink their scheduling.


And how does that work with maintenance? They rotate through the maintenance cities for routine matters and on a schedule.


Hub to hub flights or repo, like every other airline has done for decades. No one is saying there can't be some network flow, because all of the other airlines do that too; but just not to the extent that WN does. I see the same UA tail numbers in DEN for 3-4 days and then I won't see them again for weeks. They eventually find their way around the system via hub-to-hub flights or hub-maintenance bases.
 
jplatts
Posts: 5079
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:42 am

trueblew wrote:
I think the most obvious and least-costly non-IT solution would be to "regionalize" their operations to the greatest extent possible. This would serve to insulate parts of the operation from major issues that can tend to occur in the Midatlantic, Florida and the southern Plains. Of course, some direct same-plane routing along multiple stops would have to be eliminated, but these are 737s not Greyhound busses after all (although one could argue at times they have little differentiation).


One issue with "regionalization" is that O&D demand is significantly down from pre-pandemic levels on most of the shorter-distance WN nonstop routes.

PDEW's are down significantly from pre-pandemic levels on short-haul routes such as DAL-AMA/AUS/HOU/LIT/LBB/MAF/SAT/TUL and MDW-CVG/CMH/CLE/DTW/SDF/STL.

Most of the WN routes out of DAL that have significant O&D demand are outside of TX/OK/AR, and most of the WN routes out of MDW/ORD that have significant O&D demand are located outside of the Midwest.
 
trueblew
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:16 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:07 am

jplatts wrote:
trueblew wrote:
I think the most obvious and least-costly non-IT solution would be to "regionalize" their operations to the greatest extent possible. This would serve to insulate parts of the operation from major issues that can tend to occur in the Midatlantic, Florida and the southern Plains. Of course, some direct same-plane routing along multiple stops would have to be eliminated, but these are 737s not Greyhound busses after all (although one could argue at times they have little differentiation).


One issue with "regionalization" is that O&D demand is significantly down from pre-pandemic levels on most of the shorter-distance WN nonstop routes.

PDEW's are down significantly from pre-pandemic levels on short-haul routes such as DAL-AMA/AUS/HOU/LIT/LBB/MAF/SAT/TUL and MDW-CVG/CMH/CLE/DTW/SDF/STL.

Most of the WN routes out of DAL that have significant O&D demand are outside of TX/OK/AR, and most of the WN routes out of MDW/ORD that have significant O&D demand are located outside of the Midwest.


They may just have to schedule to better facilitate out-and-backs in that case, while limited other aircraft do the round robins. It isn't ideal for their general model, but these are not ideal times. Maybe some of their pax will need to deplane and suffer through another cattle call at an outstation on their way to BFE. Bottom line: whatever they're doing right now isn't working.
 
jplatts
Posts: 5079
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:21 am

asteriskceo wrote:
It’s a house of cards. They have made money through expansion. They are now giant and really have nowhere else to expand with their business model.


While I probably do not expect WN to announce any additional new destinations anytime soon (apart from already announced service to BLI/SYR), there are still a few more remaining domestic destinations such as ANC, AVL, and TYS where WN can add service further down the road.

WN had also previously stated that it was considering adding service to ANC and AVL.

I had also previously mentioned that WN will be able to add service to airports other than DAL in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (such as DFW) without having to give up any gates at DAL starting in 2025, and the discussion regarding post-2024 expansion plans for WN in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex market can be found at viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1452713.
 
avi8
Posts: 1407
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:36 am

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:13 am

jplatts wrote:
asteriskceo wrote:
It’s a house of cards. They have made money through expansion. They are now giant and really have nowhere else to expand with their business model.


While I probably do not expect WN to announce any additional new destinations anytime soon (apart from already announced service to BLI/SYR), there are still a few more remaining domestic destinations such as ANC, AVL, and TYS where WN can add service further down the road.

WN had also previously stated that it was considering adding service to ANC and AVL.

I had also previously mentioned that WN will be able to add service to airports other than DAL in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (such as DFW) without having to give up any gates at DAL starting in 2025, and the discussion regarding post-2024 expansion plans for WN in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex market can be found at viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1452713.


If WN launches ANC it would not do it without announcing at least Fairbanks as well.

I would expect the following for ANC if/when it happens

FAI: 2x daily
SEA: 4x daily
PDX: 2x daily
DEN: 1x daily
MDW: 1x daily

As for Fairbanks, aside from ANC, I could see:

SEA: 1x daily
PDX: 1x daily
DEN: 1x daily
 
Wneast
Posts: 1067
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:37 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:42 am

avi8 wrote:
jplatts wrote:
asteriskceo wrote:
It’s a house of cards. They have made money through expansion. They are now giant and really have nowhere else to expand with their business model.


While I probably do not expect WN to announce any additional new destinations anytime soon (apart from already announced service to BLI/SYR), there are still a few more remaining domestic destinations such as ANC, AVL, and TYS where WN can add service further down the road.

WN had also previously stated that it was considering adding service to ANC and AVL.

I had also previously mentioned that WN will be able to add service to airports other than DAL in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (such as DFW) without having to give up any gates at DAL starting in 2025, and the discussion regarding post-2024 expansion plans for WN in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex market can be found at viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1452713.


If WN launches ANC it would not do it without announcing at least Fairbanks as well.

I would expect the following for ANC if/when it happens

FAI: 2x daily
SEA: 4x daily
PDX: 2x daily
DEN: 1x daily
MDW: 1x daily

As for Fairbanks, aside from ANC, I could see:

SEA: 1x daily
PDX: 1x daily
DEN: 1x daily

Would there be a LAS and PHX in there and maybe OAK weekend only ?
 
mmahpeel
Posts: 99
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:18 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:45 am

There seems to be some level of denial of how bad the WN operation has been the last few years. Between the Max grounding, other misc groundings, meltdowns etc, my A-list household is fed up with the unreliability.

It's time for a re-boot of WN to focus on consistency and on-time flights.
 
challeygat300
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:25 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Fri Oct 15, 2021 4:51 am

No OAK/SAN-ANC?
 
UALFAson
Posts: 1188
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:41 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:25 am

I love how we go from talking about how WN cannot reliably operate the schedule they have now and needing to cut back to suddenly adding new service to multiple cities in Alaska. I need a neck brace from the whiplash!

Oh, a.net, sometimes you're just too much! ;-)
 
Western727
Posts: 2093
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:38 pm

Re: Southwest Fleet/Network Thread - 2021

Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:47 pm

challeygat300 wrote:
No OAK/SAN-ANC?


I could see OAK working but not SAN. The PDEW I doubt would justify it, though that's only speculation on my part. Further, SAN connectivity would be limited vs. OAK.

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