Southwest Airlines (SWA) had another hiccup, Tuesday -- one that's added to the hacking cough of cancelations and delays the airline has been through this over the last four months.
The company suspended all flights on Tuesday morning to work through data connection issues resulting from a firewall failure, according to the airline. By the end of the day according to FlightAware, 2,414 flights were delayed – 57% of those scheduled -- and 14 canceled completely.
“We ask that travelers use Southwest.com to check flight status or visit a Southwest Airlines Customer Service Agent at the airport for assistance with travel needs. We appreciate the patience of our Customers and Employees during this morning’s brief disruption,” the airline said in a statement.
As for early Thursday, all appears to be good -- for now. When ConsumerAffairs checked Flight Aware disruptions, there were none reported by SWA.
How travel insurance would’ve helped those caught in this situation
Analysts at Squaremouth.com, a travel insurance comparison and quoting engine, shared insight on travel insurance coverage for SWA’s impacted flights and said that those who have a travel insurance policy may be covered if their trip was impacted by the Southwest travel disruption. The most likely benefit to apply is Travel Delay.
“Many policies can cover ‘any delay of a common carrier’,” the analysts said in an email to ConsumerAffairs. “In this case, the Travel Delay benefit can refund your expenses during a significant delay, including coverage for meals and accommodations. In order for coverage to apply, the delay must last three to 12 hours, depending on the policy.”
Specifically, if a delay forces a traveler to miss their connecting flight, they may also be covered for additional costs needed to catch up to their trip.
“While today’s disruption did not lead to many outright cancellations, if your original Southwest flight was delayed more than 12 hours and you were forced to cancel your trip, your travel insurance policy’s Trip Cancellation benefit can cover your prepaid and non-refundable trip costs. Travelers whose flights were canceled can also contact Southwest directly for a refund,” Squaremouth said.
It added that if Southwest’s problems continue, it has prepared a special Southwest Travel Disruption Travel Insurance Information Center that breaks down coverage information for travelers and offers updates as the situation unfolds.