All Southwest Airlines flights across the US were grounded on Tuesday morning due to apparent equipment and technology issues.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lifted the nationwide ground stop just under 30 minutes after announcing that the airline requested that its departures be paused.
Southwest Airlines ‘requested that the FAA pause the airline’s departures due to an internal technical issue at Southwest,’ the FAA tweeted at 11.04am.
‘The pause has been fully canceled.’
There was still a hold on Southwest flights into Dallas Love Field Airport, according to the FAA, and other residual delays were possible due to the pause.
Almost 800 of the airline’s flights, or 14% of its schedule, were delayed, according to the tracking site FlightAware. That far surpassed the delay percentage of other US airlines.
Southwest cited ‘intermittent technology issues’ on a social media post directed at customers.
‘We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we’re hoping to get everyone going ASAP,’ wrote the airline.
The issue came less than four months after Southwest had a meltdown with thousands of canceled flights following a winter storm around the Christmas holiday weekend. At one point, more than 80% of its flight schedule was canceled, leaving thousands of passengers stranded at airports.
It led to a federal investigation.
‘We are past the point where they could say that this is a weather-driven issue,’ US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Buttigieg said at the time.
‘What this indicates is a system failure, and they need to make sure that these stranded passengers get to where they need to go and that they are provided adequate compensation.’
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