Harry Reid Airport Southwest Flights Once Again Delayed, Canceled

Harry Reid International Airport saw many delayed and canceled Southwest Airlines flights on Tuesday. The brief glitch was blamed on an intermittent technology issue that impacted Las Vegas and much of the U.S.

A Southwest Airlines plane
A Southwest Airlines plane, pictured above at an airport. Las Vegas and other locations saw delayed flights on Tuesday. (Image: Twitter)

At least 202 Southwest flights at the Las Vegas airport were delayed on Tuesday. Three flights at Harry Reid also were canceled, the flight tracking site FlightAware reported.

Nationally, on Tuesday Southwest Airlines experienced more than 2,192 delayed flights, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Many of them were to fly during the morning. Flights got so backed up that by about noon on Tuesday, about 43% of all Southwest U.S. flights were delayed, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Data Connection Issues

The airlines blamed the delays and cancelations on “data connection issues resulting from a firewall failure,” according to a Southwest statement.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we’re hoping to get everyone going ASAP,” Southwest said in a midday social media post reported by CNN.

The delays were seen as responsible for Southwest shares dropping 0.8% on Tuesday, according to CNBC.

December Meltdown

The delays come four months after massive delays and cancellations by Southwest and other airlines in the U.S. during the traditionally busy winter holiday season.

In December, Southwest canceled nearly 17,000 flights nationally over 10 days. As many as 75% of the airlines’ U.S. flights were unable to fly on some days, CNN reported. Many travelers were left stranded at Harry Reid Airport and elsewhere.

The December chaos at Southwest, like at other airlines, was blamed on stormy weather.

But Southwest had a tougher struggle given inadequate equipment and glitches with employee-scheduling computer systems, the pilots union said.

Captain Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, told CNN the December problems were linked to outdated processes and information technology.

“It’s phones, it’s computers, it’s processing power, it’s the programs used to connect us to airplanes — that’s where the problem lies, and it’s systemic throughout the whole airline.”

December’s delays and cancelations also led to lost revenue of about $800 million during Q4 at Southwest. Another $350 million was lost earlier this year.

Improvement Plans

In March, Southwest announced a plan to prevent another meltdown. Key in its plan is to spend more than $1 billion on an IT upgrade.

Looking to the future, Harry Reid Airport is predicted to see delays by the end of 2029 or maybe 2030 due to the increased number of flights using the busy airport.

Clark County Director of Aviation Rosemary Vassiliadis said the predicted delays underscore the need for a second commercial airport to open in Southern Nevada.

It’s been proposed for a 6,500-acre property in the desert, some 30 miles south of Las Vegas between the towns of Jean and Primm.

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