Southwest Airlines experiences widespread delays at Sky Harbor, nationally
Apr 18, 2023, 8:17 AM | Updated: 1:58 pm
PHOENIX — Dozens of Southwest Airlines flights were delayed Tuesday morning at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport as the carrier dealt with nationwide technology issues.
“Southwest has resumed operations after temporarily pausing flight activity this morning to work through data connection issues resulting from a firewall failure,” the Dallas-based company said in a statement.
“Early this morning, a vendor-supplied firewall went down and connection to some operational data was unexpectedly lost. Southwest Teams worked quickly to minimize flight disruptions.”
Southwest said people traveling with the airline Tuesday should check their flight status online or seek out a customer service agent at the airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the carrier requested a pause on departures because of “a technical issue with one of their internal systems.”
“The pause has been lifted and their service has resumed,” the FAA said in an 8:10 a.m. tweet.
At the time the pause was lifted, flight tracking website FlightAware showed around 100 Southwest delays at Sky Harbor and more than 1,700 nationwide, accounting for a majority of the delays among all airlines.
By midday, Southwest’s delayed flight totals were up to 150 for Phoenix and more than 2,100 nationwide.
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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.