Southwest Airlines flights resume following tech issue that led to temporary halt

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Southwest Airlines is resuming flights after temporarily grounding its entire network Tuesday. 

Cancellations seem to be at a minimum, but more than 1,700 flights, around 40% of the airline’s schedule, were delayed as of noon ET on Tuesday, according to FlightAware

“Early this morning, a vendor-supplied firewall went down and connection to some operational data was unexpectedly lost,” a statement from the airline explaining the outage said. 

The fallout from Tuesday’s incident is expected to be minimal, but even so, the airline is providing increased flexibility to allow affected travelers to change their plans.

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How is Southwest assisting affected travelers?

Southwest is allowing passengers booked to fly anywhere in its network today to change their tickets to travel up to 14 days from now without paying a fare difference. The airline does not charge change fees.

It’s been a tough few months for Southwest’s technological backend after a strong winter storm collided with outdated systems and resulted in Southwest canceling thousands of flights between Christmas and the new year. That incident disrupted many travelers’ holiday plans and ultimately cost the carrier around a billion dollars in lost revenue and compensation payments to affected passengers.

‘I’m deeply sorry’: Highlights from Senate hearing over Southwest’s holiday meltdown

In the aftermath of that meltdown, Southwest executives committed to upgrading the company’s systems and making their internal processes more nimble to deal with unexpected operational issues. The airline also slashed executive compensation in response to the winter operational failures. 

If your flight is delayed on Southwest or any other airline, you may be entitled to rebooking or other compensation from the carrier. The Department of Transportation’s consumer policies dashboard outlines major airline policies

Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at [email protected]

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