Why are Southwest flights delayed in Phoenix now? Here’s what’s happening at Sky Harbor

Why are Southwest flights delayed in Phoenix now? Here’s what’s happening at Sky Harbor


Southwest Airlines flights nationwide, including in Phoenix, experienced delays after a brief computer outage on Wednesday.

About 1,379 Southwest flights nationwide, including 118 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, were delayed as of 5:15 p.m. Arizona time on May 29. The numbers represent more than 30% of all Southwest flights nationwide and locally.

“While we were able to continue overall operations, some flights across the system were delayed while our teams addressed the outage and restarted systems,” Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said in a statement. “We apologize to our customers and appreciate their patience as we work to get them to their destinations as quickly and safely as possible.”

Why are flights delayed at Phoenix airport tonight?

Mainz said the computer issue was caused by a power outage at one of Southwest’s Dallas-area data centers, which came as severe weather affects the central and eastern U.S., including Texas.

Southwest’s technology has been heavily scrutinized in recent years because of technical glitches that disrupted travel, most infamously a December 2022 meltdown that led to the cancellation of 16,700 flights nationwide over 11 days. Since then, Southwest and other airlines worked on upgrading their computer systems to prevent future outages.

Michael Salerno is an award-winning journalist who’s covered travel and tourism since 2014. His work as The Arizona Republic’s consumer travel reporter aims to help readers navigate the stresses of traveling and get the best value for their money on their vacations. He can be reached at Michael.Salerno@gannett.com. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter: @salerno_phx.

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