Southwest Airlines flight diverted to Milwaukee due to ‘potential mechanical issue’ amid cancellation chaos

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A Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Phoenix was diverted to Milwaukee due to a “potential mechanical issue” on Wednesday afternoon, throwing a wrench in the beleaguered airline’s efforts to get back on track following thousands of canceled flights in recent days.

The issue on flight 1715 involved one of the aircraft’s flaps, a Southwest spokesperson said. It took off from Midway International Airport at 12:45 p.m. and was taken out of service after landing safely in Milwaukee. 

“A different aircraft is being brought in to continue the flight to Phoenix,” the spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “We appreciate our Customers’ patience as we work to get them to their destinations as quickly as possible.”

Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights over the Christmas weekend, leaving travelers stranded in airports across the country as they tried to get home for the holidays. 

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The cancellations have continued this week, with 2,509 flights canceled on Wednesday and 2,348 canceled for Thursday, according to flight tracker FlightAware. 

Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan apologized to travelers on Tuesday, explaining that the airline’s “highly complex” network was thrown off by the brutal winter storm that swept threw the United States over the past week, leaving dozens of crews and aircraft out of position. 

Casey Murray, President of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, said that the chaos stems from outdated technology and was a “decade in the making.” 

“We have sounded the alarm bells,” Murray told “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on Wednesday. “We have tried to get them to change processes. But it’s a combination of processes, outdated technology and infrastructure.” 

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said his agency will hold the airline accountable for the cancellations, while the Senate Commerce Committee announced Tuesday that it will investigate what caused the disruptions. 

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