Southwest Airlines Faces Nationwide Ground Stops Due to 'Computer Issues'

Southwest Airlines experienced delays across the country for the second day in a row.

Grounded travelers took to Twitter to share news of delayed or canceled flights and also shared images of crowded airport terminals.

#BREAKING: Viewers contacting @KPRC2 about computer issues affecting @SouthwestAir travelers at @HobbyAirport in #Houston. Houston Airport System confirms Southwest planes are not moving at Hobby and the airline has canceled 15 departures. #hounews #airlines #aviation #AvGeek

— Aaron Fernandez-Wische (@KPRC2Aaron) June 15, 2021

Southwest told Newsweek it is "in the process of resuming normal operations after a brief pause in our flight activity" because of "intermittent performance issues with our network connectivity."

"Our teams are working quickly to minimize flight disruptions and customer impact," Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said. "We appreciate our customers' patience as we work to get them to their destinations. We ask that travelers use to check flight status or consult a Southwest Airlines customer service agent at the airport for assistance with travel needs."

Mainz also said Southwest proactively canceled 500 flights because of the outage and is "working with those customers to get them to their destinations as quickly as possible."

We are in the process of resuming normal operations after a system issue this afternoon that created flight disruptions throughout our network. We know many Customers still require assistance and are working to address those concerns as quickly as possible. (1/2)

— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) June 15, 2021

Southwest resumed regular operations by 2 p.m. ET, according to Flight Radar, a global flight-tracking service.

After and earlier computer outage, Southwest has resumed regular operations, but it will take some time to get back to normal. Images from last Tuesday and today at 18:45 UTC.

— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) June 15, 2021

The website Down Detector tracked outage reports for Southwest on Monday and Tuesday. Reports of delays on Tuesday began to spike around 12:30 p.m. ET. After 2 p.m., the reports began to drop.

Southwest replied to some frustrated travelers on Twitter earlier Tuesday afternoon, saying the airline was experiencing technical problems that were affecting tier phones. The airline is asking customers to direct-message their account with flight information to get further assistance.

Thank you for contacting us, I appreciate the opportunity to respond. We’re are currently experiencing technical issues which are affecting our phones. Please DM your confirmation number if we can be of further assistance through this channel. -Lana

— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) June 15, 2021

More than 1,400 flights across the country were delayed Monday night. Southwest blamed the problems on its third-party weather data provider. A spokesman said the system "experienced intermittent performance issues" that prevented necessary weather information from being sent to flight crews.

"While Southwest Teams and the vendor worked to restore connectivity, we implemented a ground stop to protect the safety of our crews and customers," Southwest Airlines' Dan Landson said in a statement.

I just landed in Dallas, stuck on a runway and our Southwest captain just announced the aviation computer system in the entire country is down. Can anyone confirm? We can’t ask him any follow-up questions lol

— Amy K. Nelson (@AmyKNelson) June 15, 2021

The problem began at around 9 p.m. ET, and flights were able to resume by midnight.

Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines were also experiencing technical problems affecting their booking sites and apps on Tuesday.

@Delta the only flights available for purchase on the delta app/website are 1st class. Customer service is bogged down.

I tried to purchase said 1st class assuming you would be able to unwind that after the fact.

App won’t complete purchase. Advice?#delta @DeltaNewsHub

— Pastor Travis Johnson (@TravisJohnson73) June 15, 2021

"Delta teams are working to quickly address a technical issue that is making it difficult for customers to purchase flights on, the Fly Delta app, and through our Reservations Call Center," Delta said in a statement to ABC News. "The ability to check in for flights is not affected. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this is causing."

This story was updated with comments from a Southwest Airlines spokesman.

Southwest Flights Delayed
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4 jet taxis to the gate after landing at Midway International Airport in Chicago on April 6. On Tuesday, the airline experienced delays for the second day in a row. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images