Southwest faces delays as airline resolves ‘brief technology issue’ 2 years after its 2022 holiday meltdown

Southwest customers across the country faced a significant number of delays Wednesday after a “brief technology issue” caused by a power outage, the airline told FOX Business.

“Southwest Airlines has resolved a brief technology issue that was caused by a power outage at one of our data centers in the Dallas area this afternoon,” the company said in a statement shared with FOX Business. 

“While we were able to continue overall operations, some flights across the system were delayed while our teams addressed the outage and restarted systems. We apologize to our customers and appreciate their patience as we work to get them to their destinations as quickly and safely as possible.”

At one point Wednesday evening, 32% of Southwest’s flights were delayed, USA Today reported, citing Flight Aware. 

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The situation comes less than two years after the airline’s infamous December 2022 meltdown when nearly 17,000 flights were canceled and 2 million passengers were stranded around the Christmas holiday.

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Bags strewn about during delays

The airline ended up paying $600 million to passengers over the debacle and was fined $140 million following a government investigation late last year. 

“Today’s action sets a new precedent and sends a clear message: If airlines fail their passengers, we will use the full extent of our authority to hold them accountable,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said after the fine was issued. 

“Taking care of passengers is not just the right thing to do — it’s required, and this penalty should put all airlines on notice to take every step possible to ensure that a meltdown like this never happens again.”

Southwest passengers lining up at ticket counter

The 2022 storm delays, marked by images of thousands of passengers stuck at airports and checked bags strewn everywhere, were caused in part by the company’s outdated computer systems.

The company promised to invest $1 billion to upgrade and maintain its IT systems.

“The recent disruption will accelerate our plans to enhance our processes and technology as we continue to focus on adding capabilities to bring rapid improvements for you, our valued customers,” CEO Bob Jordan said in a note to members last year. 

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