Southwest limits canceled flights after 3 tumultuous days

By midday Tuesday, Southwest Airlines had canceled fewer than 100 flights, or 2% of its schedule, according to tracking service FlightAware.

Southwest Airlines flights appeared to be running closer to normal on Tuesday after the airline canceled nearly 2,400 flights over the previous three days.

By midday Tuesday, Southwest had canceled fewer than 100 flights, or 2% of its schedule, according to tracking service FlightAware. More than 400 other flights were running late.

Southwest maintains that bad weather and air traffic control issues in Florida on Friday triggered cascading failures in which planes and pilots were trapped out of position for their next flight. The crisis peaked on Sunday, when Southwest canceled more than 1,100 flights, or 30% of its schedule.

“When you get behind, it just takes several days to catch up,” CEO Gary Kelly said Tuesday on CNBC. “We were significantly set behind on Friday.”

Casey Murray, the president of the pilots’ union at Southwest, blames the airline for poor planning. He told The Associated Press that flaws in the airline’s crew-scheduling system made it hard to staff flights and allowed a minor setback to become a meltdown.

Southwest had already trimmed its fall schedule after widespread cancellations and delays over the summer. The airline thought those reductions had helped, but the weekend debacle is causing it to consider further reductions in schedules for November and December.

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New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof after months of public exploration has taken a step toward running for Oregon governor by forming a political action committee.

Kristof, 62, officially filled the committee paperwork Tuesday, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. That allows him to raise money and hire staff ahead of an official announcement of his candidacy.

Carol Butler, a political consultant who has been working with Kristof as a volunteer, somewhat downplayed the significance of the filing, calling it “another step toward a potential run for governor.”

“It allows us to continue exploration,” she said.

Kristof in recent years has moved back to the Yamhill, Oregon, farm where he grew up, and he’s been working to turn it into a vineyard and cider orchard.

Kristof is viewed by political consultants and potential candidates as a possible contender for the Democratic nomination.

The Democratic primary will be open in 2022 as current Gov. Kate Brown finishes her second term and cannot run again.

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