Southwest Airlines has once again found itself in the hot seat after failing thousands of travelers throughout the holiday season last year. Now, the airline is facing endless criticism for another major flight delay.
The Twitterverse tore into Southwest Airlines after they were forced to ground all their planes due to technical difficulties just months after their major holiday meltdown.
On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration announced the airline requested a pause in flight departures.
A firewall failure caused Southwest to lose connections to operational data, according to reports.
Captain Michael Santoro, vice president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, went on CNBC Tuesday and explained that the firewall failure will take a while to be fixed:
There were more than 1,700 flights delayed, according to FlightAware data, but the FAA has lifted the pause and flights are continuing.
It follows a major disruption that travelers experienced in late December during which thousands of flights were canceled due to operational problems. In response, the airline said at the time that they had taken steps to prevent that from happening again, but because of Tuesday’s situation, they’ve faced social media backlash.
One person named John tweeted, “Once again sitting on a flight and being delayed. What is wrong with your leadership?? Isn’t time for a change and a new CEO”
In addition, some twitter users seized on the Southwest delay in order to put the blame on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Mindy Robinson tweeted: “This is what happens when you hire a useless Transportation Secretary whose biggest concern is whether roads and highways are “racist.”
Dana Loesch added: “Is Pete Buttigieg still lamenting the racist road issue or is he going to deal with actual transportation issues any time soon?”
And Jimmy Failla added: “Southwest Airlines just grounded all of its flights nationwide. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says it’s because of racist runways.”
Despite the backlash, Southwest Airlines remained relatively quiet on the matter, only offering an apology to those affected by the delay. This lack of action has left many customers feeling unsatisfied and questioning the airline’s commitment to providing reliable service. As the company continues to face criticism, it will be interesting to see how they respond and what steps they take to regain the trust of their customers.