Southwest Just Partnered With Amazon Web Services Following the Holiday 'Meltdown'

Southwest’s partnership with Amazon’s AWS will support both booking of tickets through digital platforms, and optimizing flight operations.

Southwest Airlines is taking new steps to minimize future technology turbulence by partnering with Amazon, following the now infamous holiday week incident where the airline canceled thousands of flights.

Southwest’s partnership with Amazon’s AWS, announced Wednesday, will support both booking of tickets through digital platforms, and optimizing flight operations. While Southwest has experience with clouds at 30,000 feet, Amazon’s cloud expertise will provide the digital backend that helps companies manage and process data, and digital systems. 

The technology upgrades come months after Southwest canceled over 15,000 flights during the holiday season, which left millions of passengers stranded amid the chaos, and resulted in government hearings. The Denver Airport previously confirmed to T+L that over 1,000+ passengers were forced to sleep overnight at the Denver International Airport after Southwest cancellations. 

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 flying through the clouds

Courtesy of Southwest Airlines

“The partnership with AWS is part of our long-term plan to keep our airline resilient and secure, while delivering the capabilities our Employees need to better serve our Customers every day.” a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines told T+L in a statement.

Southwest also shared in the announcement that the goal of the partnership is to “improve reliability,” through modernizing the operations of the airline. The partnership is expected to enhance everything from customer interactions to crew scheduling. The tools being deployed will also allow the airline’s IT and Data Science teams the ability to quickly make modifications or try new technologies. 

“AWS’s proven experience in the travel industry, coupled with our vast portfolio of cloud technologies, empowers Southwest to increase operational resiliency, drive cost efficiency, and deliver exceptional experiences for its employees and customers.” Vice President of AWS, Matt Garman, said.

Amazon’s AWS is the largest cloud provider and provides services to United Airlines, Korean Air, Expedia, and other travel brands, according to their website

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