What’s Going On with Southwest Airlines?

US
Grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft at Victorville Airport in Victorville, Calif., March 26, 2019. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

The short version: Southwest Airlines stretched itself too thin and bad circumstances threw off its entire operation. It’s not about vaccine mandates.

Southwest does not have a hub-and-spoke route network like United or Delta or American. When you book a flight on United, for example, from Boston to Seattle, you might have a connection through Chicago O’Hare since that’s a major hub for United between those two destinations. From your point of view, it’s a flight from Boston to Seattle with a layover in Chicago. From United’s point of view, it’s one flight from Boston to Chicago and a second flight …

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