SAN DIEGO — Passengers traveling on Southwest Airlines Tuesday morning were shocked to learn all flights had been halted after a system-wide technical issue.

“It happens so often that I’m used to it. I travel quite a bit, so 30-minute delay at this point – knock on wood,” said business traveler Heidi Caella at San Diego International Airport.

At about 7 a.m. Tuesday, at the request of Southwest, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a nationwide ground stop for all Southwest flights, citing equipment issues. Southwest issued an apology saying they were working to fix the problem, which had to do with “a data connection issue resulting from a firewall failure.” 

The FAA canceled the pause about an hour later, but by then thousands of flights had been impacted across the country. 

Nearly every flight was delayed on Southwest’s arrival and departure board at Terminal One at San Diego International Airport.

As of 2 p.m., according to the website FlightAware, 2,169 flights or 52% of all Southwest flights were delayed.

“It’s about an hour-and-a-half delay,” passenger Tina Saw said.

This interruption comes following a major disaster for the airline over the holidays when a storm caused service problems. Southwest’s antiquated crew scheduling system was quickly overwhelmed, and the airline was unable to recover. More than 50% of flights were canceled.

The good news is that the issue was resolved quickly, but not before causing some panic.

“A lot of stress,” Saw said. “Am I going to make it to my meetings? Am I going to be prepared for like later dinner tonight? All that stuff, so I travel actually about once a week, minimum, for work, so there’s just been a lot of delays recently.”