US carrier Southwest Airlines grounded all flights nationwide on Tuesday morning, blaming a “data connection issue” as passenger complaints piled up on social media. Some 1,700 flights were reportedly delayed in total – 40% of the airline’s schedule – with nine cancellations, according to the FlightAware tracking service.
The problem was the result of “data connection issues resulting from a firewall failure,” the airline said in a statement. “A vendor-supplied firewall went down and connection to some operational data was unexpectedly lost.”
An all-clear message posted to the budget airline’s website explained Southwest “temporarily paus[ed] flight activity this morning to work on data connection issues.”