Southwest Airlines nationwide delays

- A technical glitch at Southwest Airlines was reportedly fixed Monday morning, but the damage had already been done with hundreds of flights delayed. The problem began for the airline and its customers on Sunday morning.

 Southwest said Monday that it was still working to get some delayed or displaced customers into open seats and to deliver baggage, but it expected the technical systems that run its customer service to perform normally.

The Dallas carrier had been warning passengers to arrive at the airport two hours early Monday and print boarding passes beforehand, but airline officials now say that travelers should expect a normal day.

Southwest suffered intermittent technical issues on its website, mobile app and in its phone centers and airports check-in systems Sunday. It was using backup systems to check-in travelers lacking printed or mobile boarding passes.

Airline representatives have not said what caused the problem, but did say there was no indication that hackers were involved.

There were about 500 delays out of 3,600 flights scheduled Sunday. Passengers reported long lines at several locations across the country, including major airports like Los Angeles International, which provided water and canopies to those stuck waiting in line outside.

On Monday morning, Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport tweeted that operations were returning to normal with few delays and diminishing passenger lines.

Southwest is allowing traveling customers to change plans, as they had on Sunday, to accommodate any disruptions. 

The airline posted the following message to its website:

We’re continuing to use back-up systems around the country to check-in Customers arriving at our airports without printed or mobile boarding passes.

Intermittent performance issues continue impacting our in-airport Customer Service technology systems and across our online platforms (Southwest.com, Southwest Mobile App and site).

We have teams working around the country to support getting our Customers and their checked luggage to their destinations tonight; other groups are troubleshooting multiple applications to determine the cause of some technical challenges experienced Sunday which, as of 6:30pm CDT, have delayed approximately 450 flights (out of 3600 scheduled today); other groups are making operational decisions to minimize impacts for those who are checking in for travel tomorrow.

We urge Customers traveling Sunday evening or Monday to visit Southwest.com to check-in and print boarding passes before coming to the airport. We also encourage Customers to arrive at least two hours prior to their scheduled departures to help minimize delays.

Finally, if checking luggage, visit a self-service kiosk adjacent a ticket counter to print bag tags where applicable and present your luggage and identification to Southwest Employees.

We thank our Employees for their tireless efforts to take care of our Customers, and we appreciate our Customers’ patience as we work towards a solution. 

With the Associated Press

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