Millions of air travelers were stuck after a computer glitch forced the Federal Aviation Administration to ground all flights Wednesday morning.
Things are back on track now, but one of the hardest airports was BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.
Flight Aware reported more than 15,000 delays and more than 2,000 cancellations across airports due to the glitch causing travelers expecting business as usual to wait longer than expected.
“We were suppose to fly to Orlando today and get checked in and visit Disney starting tomorrow,” shared James Dlugokinski, a Southwest Airlines customer.
On the other side of his flight to Orlando is a week-long vacation, but that’s been put on hold for Dlugokinski, who is one of thousands learning about the tech-trouble impacting airports nationwide.
“It caught me off guard this morning. A 2-hour delay on my flight. Guess I got to deal with it,” said Troy Williams, waiting to board a flight to Charlotte.
The FAA shared there was an overnight outage to the Notice to Air Missions System.
It’s responsible for sending out flight hazards and real time restrictions to pilots.
The software issued developed Tuesday night led to a series of IT failures resulting to the morning’s disruptions.
The FAA system that failed, according to reports, is overdue for replacement meaning this isn’t cyber security issue, according to the White House press secretary.
“Computers are great for some things, but when you rely on it for these things, I guess it’s a big, big situation,” Williams said.
It’s a situation Southwest is still reeling from after major delays and cancellations less than a month ago affecting thousands of their customers.
“It’s out of everyone’s control. It’s not a Southwest thing. It’s an FAA thing. can’t be too upset,” expressed Dlugokinski.
Luckily, he gave himself some leeway, so those delays don’t bleed into his plans, but if they’re pushed back too far, he and his family won’t be taking a plane off the runway, but the highway instead.
“If it came down to it, we’d go get our car and venture on a 18-hour journey down there,” said Dlugokinski.
President Biden directed Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to investigate what the cause is and report directly when they find out.
BWI is a hub for Southwest Airlines so any customers with flights lined up in the near future should keep the app handy for any updates.