Southwest Outage Grounds 2,300 Flights

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJuly 26, 2016 11:54 am

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The Harris County district attorney’s office dismissed all charges against anti-abortion activists David Deleiden and Sandra Merritt this morning, according to the Houston Chronicle. The duo faced charges for secretly recoding Planned Parenthood officials in Houston.

And: By some estimates stress affects more than 100 million Americans. “When asked why that is, the number stresser is money, followed by work, family and relationships,” says Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with the finance site WalletHub. WalletHub looked at the 150 biggest cities across the U.S. to figure out which metropolitan areas were the best and worst at managing stress.

“Texas was really all over the map here,” she says. No Texas cities ranked number 1 but south and west Texas show up in the top half of stressed cities. “Laredo was number 55 out of 150, in that second third there along with El Paso at 58. And Laredo actually was number 1 in terms of coping with that stress.”

On the flip side, some Texas cities have learned how to chill out. “Austin was one of them, at number 138,” she says. “Plano was the least stressed in Texas at number 144 – not a lot of people who are low on sleep or in poor health.”

But: No matter where you live, something that will stress you out is missing your flight. If you were trying to jet away on Southwest Airlines last week, you were likely left stranded. Conor Shine covered the story for the Dallas Morning News. On Wednesday, July 20, Southwest’s website was down.

“Sort of what was revealed over the course of the afternoon was that Southwest had a technical outage and it was system-wide – all their flights all across the country,” Shine says. “Southwest had to ground hundreds of flights – they cancelled something like 700 flights that first day.” Between Wednesday and Sunday, the Dallas-based carrier cancelled about 2,300 flights. All those summer vacays were apparently dashed by a faulty router.

“So we haven’t heard specifically what happened if this was sort of a freak accident or whether there was something more preventable here,” he says. “One of the key problems here is that they have a backup system that’s supposed to kick, and that didn’t happen either, so they’re going to have to look at that and make sure it doesn’t happen again.” Shine says that Southwest is investing in upgrades to their IT systems.