Southwest Airlines grounded all flights nationwide on Tuesday due to “intermittent” technical problems. The announcement was made in the middle of the day.
Here we go again #swairlines National shut down. Sitting in a plane waiting for computers to come back. Christmas all over. @SouthwestAir #alist #timetochange Did SW get rid of all their operations people?
— Michelle Fenner (@FennerMichelle) April 18, 2023
A brief perusal of the airline’s Twitter feed demonstrates the passenger above was far from alone in her dismay.
It was lifted in the late morning but it caused over 1,700 flight delays.
Southwest Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration reported that the hold on departures had been lifted in the late morning. However, traffic was still backed up at airports across North America, from Denver to New York City.
Southwest Airlines has resumed its operations following a temporary suspension of flight activity on Monday morning due to data connectivity issues caused by a firewall failure. The Dallas-based airline announced this in a statement. Early this morning, the firewall provided by a vendor failed and the connection to operational data was lost.
Most flights haven’t been canceled (yet), despite the delays.
Southwest Airlines accounted for more than half of all delays on the East Coast by late morning but had only canceled 12 flights according to FlightAware.
The grounding of the aircraft comes only a few months after the major problems and outages that the airline faced over the holidays. Over 17,000 flights had to be canceled at a cost of over $1 billion.
The flight freeze on Tuesday was short, but it revealed that this airline has been struggling more than others with technology problems. Robert Jordan, the CEO of American Airlines, has launched a campaign aimed at repairing its damaged reputation.
Southwest Airlines announced last month that it would increase its staffing and add deicing equipment during cold winter weather conditions that limit the time ground workers are able to spend outside.
This, of course, does not address other technical issues such as the ones encountered on Tuesday morning. Even a brief explanation can’t do much to ease the frustration of customers and potential travelers.
RedState reported on the major delays and cancellations during the holiday season. This caused a serious black eye to the airline’s reputation.
It’s not always a good sign when you’re on Twitter’s trending list.
Southwest Airlines has been trending on Twitter for the past 24 hours, off and on. This is due to the significant travel delays that occurred over the holidays. These delays appear to have affected their flights more than other major airlines.
Southwest has been experiencing problems that are not common during this time of year. As of the time this article was written, over 2,700 Southwest Flights have been canceled, and over 750 are delayed. And this is only for Monday. The airline blames the weather and the “unique positioning” of some of its hubs in relation to the arctic storm that has swept across the United States.
Southwest is trending again on Twitter, but this time for the wrong reasons.