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Southwest pilots have had to book their own hotel rooms during the airline's operational meltdown

Southwest Airlines has been experiencing an operational meltdown due to the winter storm and "scheduling issues." Company union VP Captain Mike Santoro told Insider that pilots are booking their own hotel rooms. He explained clogged phone lines are to blame for the lack of accommodations, but pilots will be reimbursed. Southwest Airlines passengers aren't the only people fighting for hotels. A snowballing operational meltdown has forced the airline to cancel thousands of flights… ( More...

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bbabis 9
I would be booking my own anyway rather than trust the SW system.
mary susan watkins 4
at present,a lot of wn crew are thinking in that vein..however..crews arrive in a specific van provided for them from a hotel,they merely show their airline i.d. and sign a register or are checked off in the computer,and then they are given a key and a room exchange of credit card or money or having to do an "expense reimbursement" report..easier for all when there are lot of crews coming and going and no severe conditions as they had..
paul trubits 2
When Covid hit many hotels stopped their shuttle service(along with daily cleaning of the rooms). I am not sure that they have restarted the vans
W B johnson 4
They never stopped the crew vans. Since airline crews are on a tight schedule, they have to be delivered to their destination (hotel or terminal) on time in order to get required crew rest or meet departure schedules. The vans are separate from ordinary shuttle service.
Mike Bogue 5
Only the pilots are inconvenienced? What about other crew members?
strickerje -4
Only the pilots are unionized, so they're the only ones that matter. ;)
darjr26 7
Another popular misconception about Southwest. Nearly all of their labor groups are unionized.
Randall Bursk 5
Better things to do than amuse each other on social media. Nothing new how airlines operate in bad weather. I don’t fly on holidays because of increased traffic. Airlines knew about the bad weather and offered customers to change their flights, or refund in advance. I fly with a carry on, no checked baggage. Medication is with me, not checked. Don’t expect money back on act of God. Don’t what pilots or airlines to be pressured in flying a trip, safety is first priority. If airlines aren’t flying, I wouldn’t be renting a car or small box truck to put my family at risk in White-out conditions. Spend the time at the airport if accommodations not available. No matter what we are doing, take responsibility for planning, check the weather, have options, take it in stride.
Dale Ballok 0
Nice story, but I fail to see any correlation with pilots having to book their own hotel rooms!
srobak 3
So now pilots must face the same issues that common plebs like their passengers do.
ewrcap 2
OMG?! They had to book their own rooms? Oh, the humanity! I’m sure there is someplace on the internet that explains how to do it.
Ken Pritchard 8
I'd rather fly with a crew that is freshly rested. I'd hate to be in crash and, if surviving, read the NTBS report blaming crew fatigue because it took them hours to secure a hotel room and get there and back for an early morning flight. On another note: Who agrees with me that the comment section should be better moderated before it fully devolves into a catcall gallery?
Michael Kummer 3
David, you completely don’t understand an airline flight crew schedule. While we have a contract that most of the time keeps our duty time slightly less than FAA minimums, when the weather, ATC or mechanical issue arrives, we often go to the FAA minimums such as being on duty for 15 hours, which can include up to 8 hours actually flying. So imagine being on duty for that many hours which doesn’t include up to 30 minutes each way on the hotel van. Then finding out the contracted hotel is full and your on your own to find a hotel and transportation. That may take another hour when your dead ass tired from flying approaches in bad weather. One might get close to 6 hours of good sleep before doing it all over again. In short, crews cannot maintain that schedule before burnout. When a crew is done for the long day or night, having then to find a hotel and transportation is unacceptable.
darjr26 4
Yes, I’ll even bet some of the pilots have credit cards. Some of the brighter ones probably know how to use Uber or even know how to rent a car, with a navigation system of course. Don’t worry too much about the pilots. They are going to have a much easier time getting reimbursed for their expenses than the average passenger will.
Diane Kurtz 1
Looks like they should be using Flytegroup! Without a doubt, the most acknowledged company in the industry with credibility on the national and international scale. Go pilots!,,
Huck Finn 1
Better get used to this way of travel.
mary susan watkins 1
the airline pilots and flight attendants unions generally take care of their own under any circumstances..of course the airlines do have contracts with certain hotels for accommodations for their "layover" crews,but if they have a high demand form regular people trying to find a place to stay,and the crews are unable to make the layover due to weather or whatever circumstance, those rooms are opened to others..the contracts are for space in a particualr hotel,and the airlines are given a specific monthly rate,billed only if the rooms are used..the crews who had to look for their own accommodations of course will be reimbursed,but they also still get applicable discounted airline employee rates..
Cliff Schultz 1
As a Chief Pilot flying Part 91 for an American Billionaire with his own Turbo Jet Aircraft in addition to booking crew rooms, transport for crew and pax, catering, load and unload bags, service the toilet, check tire pressure, oil levels at the start of each day, flight plan US and International, schedule maintenance, arrange alternate transport during unscheduled maintenance, schedule recurrent training, maintain all logbooks, submit expense reports, be on call 24/7 plan on being on call New Years, Easter, Summer, Graduations, Weddings, Funerals, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays, Anniversary’s and on and on and on plus fun winter weather along with deicing events.

So too bad if someone has to book a hotel room. That’s some of the reasons I preferred not to hire an out of work airline pilot as a potential co-Pilot.
Scott Maynard 1
I’d want to make my own reservations and get the cash back, points or miles!
Steve Hoker 1
Someone should let these genius Pilot's know, thay it is possible to book your own room, even if you only know 2 things V1 and Gear Down...
Hotel Booking, they have an App for that. Please don't expect us to feel sorry for these over paid under worked Southwest Employees,they are not God's. And many of their Customers are sleeping on Airport floors.
Please give us a break...

Frank Addison -1
Another example of Southwest not supporting flight crews
Dennis Stockton 0
There is only one solution to solve the SWA problem--raise the salaries and benefits of the CEO, CFO, and Board of Directors. It's the American Way.


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