Southwest Airlines cancelled more than 2,000 flights this weekend due to bad weather and air traffic control problems. Unsupported claims that vaccine mandates were responsible began to take root.

Conservative politicians and pundits including Ted Cruz, the Republican from Texas, claimed that flight disruptions were caused by pilots and air traffic controllers striking out or calling in sick to protest federal vaccination regulations.

That was denied by the airline, its pilots’ union, and Federal Aviation Administration.

Southwest spokesperson Chris Mainz stated Monday that the weekend challenges were not due to employee protests.

Yet, tweets claiming that airline employees were resisting medical tyranny and taking part in a “mass sicknessout” gathered thousands of shares. Several anonymous social media messages suggested that Southwest was concealing the true reason for the disruptions. According to Zignal Labs, the top 10 most-tweeted hashtags in relation to Southwest were #DoNotComply and #NoVaccineMandate.

Despite flights appearing to be closer to normal Tuesday, the Texas-based airline was still at the forefront of the latest front of the vaccine mandate culture conflict, its challenges exploited and exploited by those opposed to vaccine requirements.

The pilots’ union and the company have not provided any evidence supporting their explanations of why almost 2,400 flights were cancelled between Saturday and Monday. Southwest only stated that Friday’s bad weather in Florida and problems with air traffic control in Florida caused a series of failures, resulting in pilots and planes being unable to take off.

Sunday saw the airline cancel more than 1,100 flights or 30% of its scheduled flights. According to FlightAware, the airline had cancelled fewer than 100 flights or 2% of its schedule by Tuesday evening. However, more than 1,000 flights were delayed.

CNBC’s CEO Gary Kelly stated Tuesday that “When you get behind it only takes several days to catch-up.” “We were significantly behind Friday.”

All summer, Southwest was plagued by delays and cancellations. Employees were told Sunday by a senior executive that Southwest is still short of staff and may need to cut flights in November or December.

The union and the company have refused to disclose how many employees were absent during the crisis, despite repeated requests. Although they claimed that absentees were comparable to summer weekends, numbers have not been provided to back that claim. It is not known how many Southwest pilots have not been vaccinated.

Casey Murray, president and CEO of Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, stated that “we don’t know” and that the company doesn’t either.