A Southwest Airways floor crew directs a airplane out of the terminal at Hollywood Burbank Airport in Burbank, Calif. on Feb. 14, 2023. (AP Picture/Richard Vogel)
By DAVID KOENIG | AP Airways Author
DALLAS — Southwest Airways planes have been grounded nationwide for what the airline referred to as an intermittent expertise difficulty, inflicting greater than 1,700 flight delays Tuesday simply 4 months after the service suffered a meltdown over the Christmas journey rush.
California passengers had combined experiences touring Tuesday morning, April 18, at airports throughout the Southland after Southwest Airways planes have been briefly idled.
The maintain on departures was lifted by late morning, shortly after it was introduced, in line with Southwest and the Federal Aviation Administration, however not earlier than visitors at airports from Denver to New York Metropolis backed up.
Dozens of flights have been listed as delayed at Los Angeles Worldwide, Hollywood Burbank, John Wayne and Ontario Worldwide airports.
At Lengthy Seashore Airport, minor delays have been skilled early morning when the non permanent pause nationwide by Southwest was issued, however shortly after planes have been taking off once more, mentioned spokesperson Kate Kuykendall.
The airport was nonetheless seeing some minor delays because the day progressed however no different points, Kuykendall mentioned.
In its tweet letting vacationers find out about delays, Lengthy Seashore Airport inspired passengers to test with their airline for flight standing earlier than they arrived.
John Wayne Airport in Orange County additionally skilled minimal impacts from the nationwide floor cease for all Southwest flights, mentioned spokesperson AnnaSophia Servin. Three scheduled 6:45 a.m. flights have been delayed from 7:00 a.m. till roughly 7:57 a.m.
“Southwest has resumed operations after quickly pausing flight exercise this morning to work by information connection points ensuing from a firewall failure,” the Dallas airline mentioned in a ready assertion. “Early this morning, a vendor-supplied firewall went down and connection to some operational information was unexpectedly misplaced.”
The airline urged clients to test on their flight standing “and discover self-service choices” for journey because the airline labored on restoring its operation. Additionally, a journey advisory was lively to supply most flexibility for these touring.
By late morning on the East Coast, Southwest accounted for effectively over half of all delays nationwide, however the airline had canceled fewer than a dozen flights, in line with FlightAware.
The delay – whereas minor – nonetheless precipitated bother for some vacationers.
“It made me need to cancel a few of my work conferences which was irritating,” mentioned Danielle McFarland who was touring to Lengthy Seashore from Sacramento.
“My flight was delayed for 2 hours, it was imagined to take off at 8:30 a.m. and we left at round 10:15 a.m.,” she mentioned, “positively an inconvenience for certain.”
Whereas touring with Southwest to Lengthy Seashore, McFarland mentioned these delays have occurred earlier than, so it wasn’t stunning however was pissed off that it did occur once more.
Tuesday’s flight freeze was temporary, but it surely added to the image of an airline that has struggled greater than most with expertise points. CEO Robert Jordan has launched into a marketing campaign to restore the airline’s broken fame.
In December, Southwest canceled practically 17,000 flights over the Christmas vacation attributable to unhealthy climate and its crew-scheduling system turning into overwhelmed. These cancellations value the airline greater than $1 billion. The Transportation Division is investigating the breakdown.
The airline’s unions have mentioned they warned administration about issues with the crew-scheduling system after a earlier meltdown in October 2021.
Southwest mentioned final month it could add deicing tools and enhance staffing throughout winter climate that’s chilly sufficient to restrict the period of time that floor staff can keep outdoors.
Metropolis Information Service contributed to this report.