Southwest Airlines forced to delay flights due to tech issues — again
Southwest Airlines flights resumed Tuesday morning after nationwide delays caused by technical problems, just about four months after the Dallas-based carrier grounded thousands of flights and left millions of people stranded during the holiday season.
The Federal Aviation Authority confirmed on Twitter that Southwest requested the agency pause all of its departures as it resolved the technical issue.
This morning @SouthwestAir experienced a technical issue with one of their internal systems.— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) April 18, 2023
At the airline’s request, the FAA paused Southwest’s departures as they resolved the issue.
The pause has been lifted and their service has resumed.
Tuesday's flight freeze was brief, but it added to the picture of an airline that has struggled more than most with technology issues. CEO Robert Jordan has embarked on a campaign to repair the airline's damaged reputation.
In December, Southwest canceled nearly 17,000 flights over the Christmas holiday due to bad weather and its crew-scheduling system becoming overwhelmed. Those cancellations cost the airline more than $1 billion. The Transportation Department is investigating the breakdown.
The airline’s unions have said they warned management about problems with the crew-scheduling system after a previous meltdown in October 2021.
Southwest said last month it would add deicing equipment and increase staffing during winter weather that is cold enough to limit the amount of time that ground workers can stay outside.
Southwest explained in a statement its temporary pause of flights was due to a "firewall failure," blaming a vendor whose firewall went down and forced the loss of operational data.
The carrier said teams worked to minimize disruptions. By about 10:30 a.m. CT, the pause was lifted and Southwest's flights resumed.
Southwest spent much of Tuesday morning apologizing to passengers who lodged complaints on Twitter.
You have our sincere apologies for the delays today, Chris, especially if the communication onboard has left much to be desired. Please send us a DM with your confirmation number if we can be of further assistance. -Amanda— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) April 18, 2023
Copyright 2023 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.