CLEVELAND (WJW) — Southwest Airlines flights were delayed on Tuesday evening after the company had issues with their weather data system.
In a statement to FOX 8, the airline says their third-party vendor, IBM, experienced a brief outage in their service that provides weather data prior to Southwest dispatching flights.
“Our Teams worked to minimize customer impact and we anticipate only minor delays for the remainder of the evening,” Southwest Airlines said. “We encourage customers to check their flight status at Southwest.com.”
The airline scrubbed thousands of flights days after Christmas, including several from Cleveland Hopkins Airport and Akron-Canton in the aftermath of the massive winter storm that wrecked holiday travel plans across the U.S., and the federal government said it would investigate why the company lagged so far behind other carriers.
After the worst of the storm had passed. The airline said many pilots and flight attendants were out of position to work their flights.
The company is trying to make travelers who were caught in its surge of canceled flights over the holidays feel a bit better about the airline by giving them 25,000 frequent-flyer points.
The airline says the points are worth more than $300 in flights.
Southwest included the offer in a letter — another apology for the meltdown — from CEO Bob Jordan.
“I know that no amount of apologies can undo your experience,” Jordan wrote. He added the airline is acting “with great urgency” to process refunds, return lost bags and handle requests for reimbursement of costs incurred by stranded travelers.
Dallas-based Southwest canceled more than 15,000 flights between Dec. 22 and Dec. 30, according to tracking service FlightAware. The flight disruptions began with a winter storm that swept across the country. While other airlines recovered after a couple days, Southwest continued to struggle with crews and airplanes that were stranded far from where they were supposed to be.
Southwest said people booked on flights from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2 that were canceled or “significantly” delayed received the 25,000 points. It has not disclosed how many passengers were booked on those flights.