US travel chaos: Thousands stranded due to Southwest Airlines system outage - Hindustan Times
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US travel chaos: Thousands stranded due to Southwest Airlines system outage

May 30, 2024 10:18 AM IST

Thousands of passengers across US were stranded as Southwest Airlines faced major system outage, forcing it to ground 1500 flights across country.

ht newSouthwest Airlines experienced significant travel disruptions across the United States on Tuesday due to a computer system outage, marking the second major incident of this kind within four months. The glitch, which was attributed to a firewall failure, forced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ground all Southwest flights temporarily, affecting thousands of travelers.

Thousands of passengers across US were stranded as Southwest Airlines faced major system outage, forcing it to ground 1500 flights across country.(REUTERS)
Thousands of passengers across US were stranded as Southwest Airlines faced major system outage, forcing it to ground 1500 flights across country.(REUTERS)

1,500 flights delayed and cancelled

According to Southwest, the issue stemmed from a vendor-supplied firewall that went down, causing a loss of connection to operational data. This disruption led to the grounding of over 1,500 flights and delays for tens of thousands of passengers.

The travel chaos began in the afternoon, with numerous passengers reporting being stranded on planes or at airports without clear information on when flights would resume. Frustrated travelers took to social media to express their grievances, with some sharing that they were told the delays could last up to six hours.

For those affected by the disruptions, here are some tips to navigate the situation:

1. Check Flight Status Regularly: Use the Southwest Airlines website or app to monitor the status of your flight. Due to high traffic, these platforms might be slow, so persistence is key.

2. Contact Customer Service: Reach out to Southwest Airlines customer service for assistance. Given the volume of inquiries, expect longer wait times.

3. Explore Alternatives: If your flight is significantly delayed or canceled, consider alternative travel options, such as booking with another airline or using ground transportation if feasible.

4. Stay Informed: Follow news updates and Southwest's official social media channels for real-time information about the situation.

5. Prepare for Delays: If you are at the airport, ensure you have essentials like snacks, water, and entertainment, as delays might extend longer than anticipated.

Southwest Airlines has apologized for the inconvenience and is working to resume normal operations as quickly as possible. They appreciate the patience of their customers during this challenging time.

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