Southwest Airlines’ technical issues lead to 500 canceled flights

Southwest Airlines passengers had to deal with thousands of delayed and canceled flights this week caused by a couple of technical problems that affected its systems. On Monday, the airline’s third-party weather data provider suffered from intermittent performance issues that prevented it from receiving the information its flights needed. According to the website FlightAware, 1,541 of its flights were delayed on Monday as a result. A day later, Southwest told CNN that it had to cancel around 500 flights, or 15 percent of its schedule, after encountering a second glitch. 

The company said it suffered from a network connectivity issue on Tuesday afternoon that affected its reservation system. It even had to ask the Federal Aviation Administration to issue a nationwide ground stop for the airline to prevent any of its planes from taking off while the company was resolving a “reservation computer issue.” In addition to 500 flights being canceled, the connectivity issue also delayed between 900 to 1,300 flights, based on data from FlightAware. 

The FAA lifted the ground stop after an hour, though, and a spokesperson said the airline is “in the process of resuming normal operations after a brief pause in [its] flight activity.” While Southwest is still investigating the issue, it doesn’t believe the two glitches are connected. The company was hit with the serious technical problems just as traveling started to pick up again since the pandemic began. Airlines are currently enjoying a resurgence in activity following a lengthy period of travel bans that significantly impacted the travel and tourism industry.

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