Southwest: Mechanics Dispute Costing Airline ‘Millions’ a Week

Mar 5, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Southwest Airlines mechanics’ operational disruptions are costing the carrier “millions” per week, CEO Gary Kelly said Tuesday.

Speaking at a JP Morgan conference in New York, Kelly said the losses were due to lost revenues and other costs associated with flight delays and cancellations, Reuters reports.

The dispute between the airline and its mechanics surfaced in February, when Southwest declared an “operational emergency” after about double the amount of normal aircraft were out of service, allegedly due to maintenance slowdowns. Southwest has been forced to cancel hundreds of flights in February and March as a result of the number of unavailable planes. On average, 20 planes out of Southwest’s Boeing 737 fleet have been out of service each day; last week, Southwest had to ground 45 planes on Feb. 26 and and 51 on Feb. 27.

The carrier filed a lawsuit last week against the mechanics’ union, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, alleging that the group had encouraged its 2,400 workers to intentionally ground aircraft over minor maintenance issues in order to leverage the plane shortage in labor contract negotiations.

The union and airline have been in contract negotiations since 2012.

Featured photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.