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Southwest Airlines And American Airlines Are At Risk Of Meltdown

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Southwest Airlines And American Airlines Are At Risk Of Meltdown

(CTN News) – Last December, Southwest Airlines suffered a holiday meltdown due to a perfect storm of weather problems and technology failures. Weather caused the initial problems, and the airline’s systems could not handle all the changes it needed to make to minimize disruptions.

The problem could have been avoided in part. It knew it needed to update its software and add more personnel and winter weather equipment. Inclement weather can lead to flight cancellations, regardless of how bad the situation was.

Technical problems and poor communication made Southwest Airlines’ (LUV) – Get Free Report situation worse. Despite their anger, people do understand that bad weather can cause flights to be canceled.

Although airlines cannot control the weather, even very angry passengers trying to reach their holiday destinations will be forgiven.

Southwest’s initial handling of the situation was not good — Southwest has since admitted that it wasn’t — but the airline’s rapid recovery in terms of passenger counts suggests that, at the end of the day, people understand that the weather cannot be controlled by airlines.

Negotiations with their employees are, however, under their control. Southwest Airlines (SWA) and American Airlines (AAL) – Get Free Report are both facing labor unrest at the moment. The Southwest pilots and flight attendants have not yet reached an agreement on a new contract. The pilots of American Airlines have reached a contract, but the flight attendants have not.

The Southwest pilots and American flight attendants have both taken actions that have passengers concerned.

Southwest Airlines and American Airlines may strike

Although American’s flight attendants and Southwest’s pilots overwhelmingly voted in favor of a strike, an actual work stoppage faces some obstacles. Currently, both groups are in federal mediation with their respective airlines, which makes a strike technically illegal.

However, the general public is well aware of the problems and likely concerned about potential work stoppages during the winter holidays.

“Google search data reveal that on the 31st of August, the day when American Airlines flight attendants voted in favor of going on strike, there was an unprecedented spike in searches for flight attendants. Touristjourney.com shared with TheStreet that search results exploded 1,328%.

Flight attendants of American Southwest Airlines voted to strike recently, which could affect travelers across the country, said a spokesperson. The best path forward is a constructive discussion and working towards better pay for their crew members. It will be interesting to see how the company handles the situation.”

Off-duty American Airlines flight attendants picketed to draw attention to their situation. The Southwest pilots did the same thing in late August, but no actual disruptions have occurred so far.

Both unions could use sickouts or other quasi-legal tactics to send a message to their employers while a strike would technically be illegal.

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