Southwest Airlines has once again been forced to delay or cancel hundreds of its scheduled flights on Wednesday amid disruptions earlier this week.
On Monday night, Southwest Airlines began having issues with a weather data supplier which prevented pilots from safely flying the planes. While officials were able to fix the problem within a few hours, technological issues were discovered on Tuesday, causing half of the company's flights to be delayed or canceled, according to data from FlightAware.
The airlines suffered similar problems on Wednesday from issues that were not resolved the day before. Authorities canceled about 10% of the company's flights and delayed about 19% later that afternoon due to the unresolved issues, the data showed.
Canceled or Delayed Flights
While the technological issues from Tuesday have been resolved, the company was still seeing a small number of canceled or delayed flights as operations slowly returned to normal, Dan Landson, a spokesman for Southwest Airlines, said.
On Tuesday, the airlines revealed it was struggling with "network connectivity," which was unrelated to Monday's weather data problems, Landson said. He added there was no evidence that suggested the company's computer systems have been compromised by a third party, MSN reported.
Southwest Airlines is facing these problems amid its 50th-year celebrations. Since the beginning of the pandemic, airline officials worldwide have observed a drastic reduction in the demand for air travel. Air travel companies in the United States are slowly returning to normal operations as the country's COVID-19 cases continue to drop and vaccination rates continue to rise.
The summer season has brought more and more people coming back to airlines to travel in the air. Businesses and states have also started reopenings amid the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. On Tuesday, the governors of California and New York announced the easing of most restrictions.
On Sunday, more than two million people were screened at airports by the Transportation Security Administration, more than any day since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
While Southwest Airlines had an extended period of canceled or delayed flights, the scheduled travel was during a part of the week that was commonly not as busy as other days. However, there were still thousands of customers that have been affected.
The airline's staff members have also struggled with delays and cancellations. The company's management has been working nonstop to provide regular updates to their flight attendants and provide accommodation to affected customers who were left stranded, Lyn Montgomery, the president of Transport Workers Union Local 556, said, the New York Times reported.
Many of the world's air carriers are struggling to accommodate the surge of customers amid a shortage of staff. The employee reductions were a result of buyouts and other packages authorities implemented to save money during the pandemic.
One notable example is when Southwest, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines warned flyers there are potential long hold times for customer service. Officials also encouraged customers to use self-service options to reduce the number of people waiting in line, CNBC reported.