Southwest Resumes Flying After Nationwide Grounding

Tech glitch briefly kept planes from flying, but now many flights are delayed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 18, 2023 10:25 AM CDT
Updated Apr 18, 2023 11:31 AM CDT
FAA Grounds All Southwest Flights
A Southwest Airlines ground crew directs a plane out of the terminal at Hollywood Burbank Airport in Burbank, California, on Feb. 14.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
UPDATE Apr 18, 2023 11:31 AM CDT

Southwest has resumed flights after all were briefly grounded Tuesday morning because of a tech glitch. Those flying on the airline can expect delays, however: Roughly 40% were behind schedule as of noon, reports USA Today. The company's explanation for the snafu: "Early this morning, a vendor-supplied firewall went down and connection to some operational data was unexpectedly lost," it says in a statement. Federal officials then ordered a ground stop until the issue was ironed out.

Apr 18, 2023 10:25 AM CDT

Federal officials halted Southwest Airlines flights from taking off on Tuesday. By late morning on the East Coast, the AP reports that more than 1,500 Southwest flights had been delayed, accounting for well over half of all delays nationwide, according to FlightAware. Southwest said on Twitter that it asked the Federal Aviation Administration to hold up departures because of "intermittent" technical issues. The airline didn't immediately respond to questions about the nature of the technical problem, but per Fox News, it tweeted, "We should hopefully be resuming our operation as soon as possible."

The FAA said only that Southwest requested the pause on flights, and the agency referred questions to the Dallas-based airline. 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 and are being investigated by the Department of Transportation.

(More Southwest Airlines stories.)

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