No Joke: Nationwide Flight Delays After Software Glitch

Apr 1, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Air travelers across the nation faced residual flight delays Monday after a software glitch at a flight-data vendor affected numerous US airlines.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, Greg Martin, attributed the problem to “a non-FAA flight planning weight and balance program called Aerodata.” Martin told TPG that the outage began at 5:24am ET and lasted until 6:12am ET.

The glitch slowed flights on several major carriers and their regional affiliates, including American, Delta, Southwest, United, Alaska and JetBlue.

Most of the affected airlines reported that operations had resumed, but the glitch – which came just as the busy travel week began – has created cascading backups that will likely last throughout the day.

Cancellations were not a major problem by mid-day, but delays were piling up.

More than 4,700 flights were delayed across the US as of 5pm ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. The number of delayed flights had spiked rapidly since the morning.


Southwest was particularly hard-hit. FlightAware’s count showed about 1,100 Southwest flights – roughly one out of every four at the airline on Monday – were running late as of 5pm ET.

Southwest confirmed to TPG that it had halted all flights for about 40 minutes early Monday, but said operations had resumed by 7:05am ET.

“Scattered flight delays are anticipated and customers should check for the latest updates on specific flights,” the airline said in a statement. “We’re working with customers on any impacts to their travel plans and we appreciate their understanding as we place nothing higher than the safe operation of every flight.”

Not all carriers were affected equally.

At American, the carrier’s mainline operations were not affected by the data outage. But many of the airline’s American Eagle partners were, including SkyWest and Republic.

At SkyWest, nearly one out of every seven flights was running late as of late afternoon, according to FlightAware. Beyond American, SkyWest also flies regional flights for Delta and Alaska airlines.

Delta was among the carriers to confirm that it was affected by the outage, telling TPG it was caused by “a brief third-party technology issue that prevented some Delta Connection flights from being dispatched on time.”

FlightAware counted about 160 delays on Delta’s mainline flights, and its regional affiliates also were affected.

“No cancellations are expected due to the issue and our teams are working to resolve some resulting delays,” Delta spokesman Anthony Black said in a statement to TPG. “We apologize to customers for any inconvenience.”

For United, FlightAware showed more than 225 delays as of 5pm ET. That affected about 10 percent of mainline flights. And, like American and Delta, some of United’s regional affiliates were affected.

United airline was still responding to travelers about the backups via social media as of mid-morning.

“We had a technology issue that was preventing paperwork from being released, and we appreciate your patience while we worked through it,” United said to one passenger via Twitter at 10:04am ET.

Passengers flying any US airlines on Monday should check with their carrier to see if their flights are on time.

With reporting by Ben Smithson.

Featured image by by Alberto Riva/TPG

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.