Southwest Airlines is resuming operations after the airline briefly paused departures due to a “technical issue” earlier this morning. The airline says it had to address data connection issues caused by a firewall failure.
“Southwest has resumed operations after temporarily pausing flight activity this morning to work through data connection issues resulting from a firewall failure,” the 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.”
FlightAware indicates that nearly 2,500 of Southwest’s flights on Tuesday morning, which represents about 30% of its schedule for the day, were delayed.
The airline is asking travelers to use Southwest.com to check their flight status or visit a Southwest Airlines Customer Service Agent at the airport for assistance with travel needs.
The latest disruption comes months after Southwest canceled more than 16,700 flights in December due to changes to its staff scheduling computer systems. The issues cost Southwest more than $1 billion and frustrated thousands of travelers during the busy holiday travel season. The Department of Transportation opened an investigation into the airline in response to the widespread disruption. At the time, the airline said it had taken steps to prevent another widespread disruption.
Southwest conducted a review with aviation consulting firm Oliver Wyman to determine ways to prevent another similar situation. Following the review, the airline introduced technology updates to crew reassignment software, weather alert dashboards, communication systems and more as part of a $1.3 billion plan to boost its operational resiliency.