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Southwest Airlines suffers systemwide computer outage for second time in 24 hours

June 15, 2021
2 min read
Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Denver Las Vegas
Southwest Airlines suffers systemwide computer outage for second time in 24 hours
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Editor's Note

This post has been updated with new information. 

Southwest Airlines experienced a system outage Tuesday afternoon, leading to widespread delays and cancellations as the airline raced to get its network back online.

At the airline's request, The Federal Aviation Administration issued a nationwide groundstop for all Southwest flights shortly after 3 p.m. ET. The outage was Southwest's second in less than 24 hours, after a similar system failure led to a groundstop Monday night.

Disruptions were being reported across Southwest’s network. More than 475 Southwest flights – about 14% of the carrier's entire Tuesday schedule – had been canceled as of 4:05 p.m. ET, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. Another 1,233 Southwest flights — or about 36% of the day’s schedule — were delayed.

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Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines also experienced system issues Monday night, although the issues appeared to be fixed by Tuesday.

Southwest acknowledged the glitch in a Tuesday afternoon statement to TPG, saying it "is in the process of resuming normal operations after a brief pause in our flight activity resulting from intermittent performance issues with our network connectivity Tuesday afternoon.

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"Our Teams are working quickly to minimize flight disruptions and Customer impact," Southwest added in its statement. "We appreciate our Customers’ patience as we work to get them to their destinations."

Monday night's issue at Southwest appeared to be caused by a third-party system that provides weather information for pilots. It was not immediately clear whether the two outages were related or caused by the same thing.

Featured image by Benet uses her Amex Platinum Card to earn 5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with her favorite airline. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.