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Southwest delayed hundreds of departures Tuesday due to a networking glitch

Southwest delayed hundreds of departures Tuesday due to a networking glitch


A failed firewall cut off connection to some operational data, and Southwest asked the FAA to pause all of its flight departures across the US while it worked things out.

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An image showing passengers in front of a Southwest Airlines kiosk at an airport
Photo by Paul Hennessy/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Southwest Airlines has fixed a technical issue that delayed hundreds of flights across the country. In a statement provided to The Verge, Southwest Airlines spokesperson Dan Landson says the company resumed operations after working through “data connection issues resulting from a firewall failure.”

The airline started having issues at around 10:30AM ET, with data from FlightAware suggesting that over 1,700 Southwest flights have been delayed so far. The Federal Aviation Administration paused departures at the request of Southwest Airlines around this time and later unpaused flights at 11:10AM ET.

“Early this morning, a vendor-supplied firewall went down and connection to some operational data was unexpectedly lost,” Landson says. “Southwest Teams worked quickly to minimize flight disruptions.”

While Southwest Airlines resolved things pretty quickly this time around, the same can’t be said for the system-wide issues that beset the company during last year’s holiday travel season. Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights around the country, leaving passengers stranded at airports for days. The Department of Transportation opened an investigation into Southwest Airlines as a result.

However, the massive number of cancellations was, in part, due to the airline’s point-to-point system. Unlike other airlines, Southwest has planes flying from destination to destination while picking up staff along the way. While this helps Southwest offer tickets at more affordable prices, one cancellation or delay can cause ripple effects across the company’s entire schedule.