The flying punching bag that is Southwest Airlines once again had to temporarily cancel flights due to computer issues. Mid-morning on Tuesday ET, Southwest said it halted operations at some airports due to “intermittent technology issues.” The company wrote on Twitter that it was working to get things operational again after users complained about canceled and delayed flights.
On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Authority also tweeted Monday that Southwest requested the agency pause all of its departures. Just before 12 p.m. ET, a company spokesperson told Gizmodo that the airline had resumed operations after temporarily pausing flights.
The issue, according to the airline, was a third-party firewall that “went down” Tuesday. This caused a drop in connection to “some operational data.” The company claimed it worked fast to minimize flight disruptions. The company tweeted that passengers can visit its site to check flight status.
Last Christmas season was a particularly rough period for the airline, but a much harsher time for those trying to fly during a particularly cold winter season. Just after Christmas, Southwest canceled more than half of its flights across the country.
At first, the company claimed the issues had nothing to do with staffing, but company execs later admitted that “outdated” scheduling software led to utter confusion on pilots’ and flight attendants’ locations. Those running things behind the scenes were forced to record the status of their crews by hand. Meanwhile, ground crew unions reported they worked long hours in extreme weather conditions, with some claiming they got sick or even suffered frostbite. The FAA later said its own computer issues could have been another reason for why airlines struggled to locate their crews.
Despite the Dallas-based airline saying this new issue was unrelated to its previous technology SNAFUs, it’s certainly not a good look when the company is still trying to repair its national image. Some reports have estimated the massive wave of flight cancellations could have cost the company $800 million. Passengers have sued Southwest, saying the company never processed refunds for canceled flights.