Southwest Airlines delays flights after computer issues

Customer services on the airline's home page are also down

screen shot 2016 07 20 at 5.51.33 pm

Southwest Airlines ran into system problems on July 20

Credit: Southwest Airlines/IDGNS

Southwest Airlines in Dallas, Texas, said Wednesday that performance issues with its technology systems had led to flight delays.

The airline said it began experiencing intermittent performance issues in the afternoon with multiple technology systems as a result of an outage. “We are now managing flight delays across our system, with a temporary ground stop in place for those flights that have not left the gate,” it said in a statement.

The airline’s website www.southwest.com also had a notice saying, "We're working hard to get you where you want to be......Thank you for your patience," suggesting that online reservations, check-ins and other customer services would not be immediately possible. Users were asked not to refresh their browsers as they would be automatically transferred to the site as soon as possible.

“Once our systems resume full functionality, we’re offering flexible accommodations for rebooking your travel. Please stay tuned for more,” the airline said in a Twitter message.

Southwest did not immediately respond to a request for information on what was the technology problem that was causing the issues. It said in the statement that it had a team of experts working to resolve the technical issues and the systems were gradually coming back online.

“We expect to continue our move toward a normal operation but believe it will take time,” it added.

Normal operations are likely to be restored only on Thursday. The airline said in a second statement late Wednesday that it will be reducing the number of flights departing after 9:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time on Wednesday in an effort to fully restore its system for the next day’s operation. The airline said the computer issues had resulted in 600 to 700 canceled and delayed flights across its network.

About 836 Southwest flights were delayed in October in what was also described as a  problem related to the airline's technology systems. Employees had to work around issues with primary systems and used back-up procedures to get customers and their checked luggage to their intended destinations, the airline said.

To comment on this article and other Network World content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter stream.
Must read: Hidden Cause of Slow Internet and how to fix it
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.