On Tuesday, Southwest Airlines continued to experience complications with “intermittent performance issues,” resulting in the proactive cancellation of about 500 flights. The Tuesday cancellations followed technical issues Monday evening that grounded flights across the US.
A Tuesday statement from Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said performance issues with its network connectivity resulted in a “brief pause” in-flight activity. The airline was in the process of resuming normal operations that afternoon. “Our Teams are working quickly to minimize flight disruptions and Customer impact,” Mainz said via email, adding that it’s working to get affected passengers to their destinations “as quickly as possible.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration said on Twitter that it had issued a temporary nationwide ground stop at Southwest Airlines’ request while the company resolved a reservation computer issue. The ground stop has since been lifted.
Monday tech issues ground flights across the US.
The Dallas-based airline had reported that operations were back to regular following Monday’s technical issues before hitting another snag with Tuesday’s “system issue.” Mainz said the company does not believe the two cases were related, but Southwest was “looking into it to make sure.” Southwest Airlines passengers were stuck for hours at airports across the country Monday due to technical issues.
Southwest spokesperson Dan Landson told USA TODAY on Monday that the evening’s technical issues stemmed from intermittent performance issues with its third-party weather data provider, which “prevented the transmission of weather information that is required to safely operate” its aircraft. “While Southwest teams and the vendor worked to restore connectivity, we implemented a ground stop to protect the safety of our crews and customers,” Landson said Monday.
“We’ve resumed normal flight operations after our third-party weather data provider experienced intermittent performance issues Monday evening preventing transmission of weather information that is required to safely operate our aircraft,” Southwest spokesperson Dan Landson said in a statement to USA TODAY. “While Southwest teams and the vendor worked to restore connectivity, we implemented a ground stop to protect the safety of our crews and customers.”
As of 4 p.m. EDT Tuesday, flight-tracking website FlightAware.com showed that Southwest had 1,193 delays and more than 470 cancellations. On Monday, it had over 1,450 delays. People began posting on social media on Monday evening that their flights were grounded. Some reported that they were told it was due to issues with the electronic system to monitor the weather.
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At Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Air Service Development Manager Alexandria “Lexie” Pierce confirmed at least six Southwest flights were canceled and every flight scheduled after 7 p.m. PDT was delayed.
Hollywood Burbank Airport in California tweeted around 7:30 p.m. that “Southwest Airlines has suspended all departures from Hollywood Burbank Airport due to nationwide network issues.” The airport posted flights resumed there by 8:15 p.m.
Denver International Airport tweeted around 8:45 p.m. that “Southwest Airlines is experiencing computer issues which is resulting in flight departure and arrival delays.”
People posted on social media that they were also stuck in Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Southwest Florida International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport and more.
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Passenger Patrick C. Miller posted that he was at Phoenix Sky Harbor and a pilot told the crowd the airline’s server in Dallas andits backup server were unavailable. After being stuck for hours, Miller told The Arizona Republic that he was back in the air before 9 p.m.
“Most of the anxiety was coming from various forms of miscommunication and speculation vs. actual news from the source. I heard everything from total system outage to hackers to Russians while I was listening to all of the other passengers,” Miller said via Twitter DM.
“We appreciate our Customers’ patience as we work to get them to their destinations as quickly as possible,” Southwest’s Landson told USA TODAY. “We ask that Customers use Southwest.com to check flight status or consult a Southwest Airlines Customer Service Agent for assistance with travel needs.”