Over 2,000 Southwest flights delayed after technical issue forces temporary pause in departures

NOW: Over 2,000 Southwest flights delayed after technical issue forces temporary pause in departures

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Southwest Airlines had to delay hundreds of flights Tuesday morning after a technical issue forced the airline to pause all flights.

"Southwest has resumed operations after temporarily pausing flight activity this morning to work through data connection issues resulting from a firewall failure," Southwest Airlines told CBS 58 in a statement. "Early this morning, a vendor-supplied firewall went down and connection to some operational data was unexpectedly lost. Southwest teams worked quickly to minimize flight disruptions."

While flights are back in the air, the domino effect is causing more delays. According to flight tracking software Flight Aware, over 45% of Southwest's Tuesday flights have been delayed. Those delays led to upset passengers, including Glendale's Pam Oxman, who was supposed to leave Tuesday to visit her brother in Palm Springs, California.

"I'm supposed to fly from Milwaukee to Phoenix to Palm Springs," Oxman explained. "Because of the delay, the connection in Phoenix wasn't going to work."

Oxman will now have to depart Milwaukee Wednesday morning.

"It's very frustrating," she said, adding it could make her second-guess flying with the airline in the future. "Hesitant. Hesitant to fly Southwest."

This issue comes just four months after Southwest was forced to cancel nearly 17,000 flights over the busy holiday travel season, impacting roughly 2,000,000 passengers and costing the airline upwards of a billion dollars. The Department of Transportation is continuing to investigate those cancellations.

As for Oxman, while she's disappointed her travel plans have been delayed, she's grateful to the local Southwest staff at MKE Mitchell International for helping her navigate the challenging day.

"The counter assistant, she's been very helpful and trying to get me on different flights and she even offered to pay for an Uber," Oxman explained. "We'll go tomorrow, and I'll have more of the day tomorrow in Palm Springs."

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