Leah Millis / Reuters
Updated at 12:09 pm ET
Thousands of travelers on some of the largest US airlines endured long wait Monday morning, as their flights were delayed due to the contractor's computer problem. The technical issue forced Southwest Airlines, which had some of the biggest problems, to close all US flights for about 40 minutes Monday.
"From 9 am Eastern Time, over 600 Southwest flights today were delayed," NPR David Schaper reports. "United says about 150 flights with its regional carriers were hit, US and Delta also say a few dozen flights on its regional carriers were hit."
The delay hit southwest shortly after. 7.00 ET, which forced the earth stop that lasted until 7:45 am FAA announced at 8:30 am that "the problem has been resolved." But then the delays were already underway.
"Several US carriers are experiencing computer problems this morning," said the Federal Aviation Administration on Twitter, asking passengers to check their flight status with their airlines. The agency reminded readers – some of them were undoubtedly frustrated passengers whose aircraft had not departed – that it did not control flight cancellations.
Southwest said it was a third-party provider's computer failure that hit "data used in flight scheduling." other flight planning systems, Southwest said in an email to NPR.
AeroData's customers include Southwest, American, Delta, United and JetBlue – all airlines that reported delays Monday.
AeroData's system "is the last application used by pilots before the aircraft port door is closed before start," according to a 2017 profile from the data management company VMware. "As a result, only five minutes of system downtime can result in over 100 delayed flights and loss of revenue."
Major delays were reported at a number of airports Monday, from Phoenix to New Orleans and from Atlanta to New York and Chicago, according to Flightradar24. For the carriers concerned, the early disturbances ripped through their flights Monday morning.
As they apologized to travelers, the airlines also said the situation was beyond their control.
"The AeroData system slowly returns" American Airlines said via Twitter, adding that further delays are likely to be needed Monday.
The technical problems associated with weather-related security concern several airports; The FAA said major wins could also lead to delays in Boston, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia.