Southwest and FAA agreed to issue a ground sop for its flights in United States April 19, 2023. Southwest Airlines asked the Federal Aviation Administration to order a nationwide ground stop of the airline’s flights. The ground stop was eventually lifted at most airports except for Southwest’s main hub, Love Field in Dallas, Texas. As in December, the ground stop order caused a major disruption to the airline’s scheduling. Almost 2,500 Southwest flights, which is about 30 percent of their schedule, were delayed, according to flight tracking company, FlightAware.
“Southwest has resumed operations after temporarily pausing flight activity this morning to work through data connection issues,” a statement released by Southwest said. “We offer our heartfelt apologies to Customers whose journey with us today might be delayed.” Southwest described the problem as “intermittent technology issues.”
“Southwest resumed operations after temporarily pausing flight activity to work through data connection issues resulting from a firewall failure,” said a statement by the airline. Later that day, they released this update: “Southwest has resumed operations after temporarily pausing flight activity this morning to work through data connection issues resulting from a firewall failure. 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. We ask that travelers use Southwest.com to check flight status or visit a Southwest Airlines Customer Service Agent at the airport for assistance with travel needs. We appreciate the patience of our Customers and Employees during this morning’s brief disruption.”
In December, Southwest had a mass cancellation of more than 16,000 flights in late December as the result of a massive winter storm and outdated crew staffing software. This similar episode for the low-cost carrier caused hundreds of flights were delayed. After the December meltdown, Southwest Airlines promised to invest billions of dollars into its IT infrastructure to ensure a similar crisis wouldn’t happen again.