Southwest delays have mounted all day as the Dallas-based airline has struggled to fix a glitch in their computer system, according to reports.
The Southwest delays started early Sunday, October 11, across the airline’s service area, with the Associated Press reporting hundreds of flights delayed as a result.
As a result of the computer glitch, which has spread delays across Southwest Airlines airports, the AP said the airline is asking passengers to be early and to be patient.
“The Dallas-based company is asking travelers to arrive at least two hours before their scheduled departures as the problems that began Sunday morning continue into the evening. It is also asking customers to use airport kiosks to print boarding passes and tags for luggage.
“At Los Angeles International Airport earlier in the day, several dozen people crowded the Southwest terminal waiting to be issued hand-written tickets. By late afternoon, Southwest said about 450 of the 3,600 flights scheduled for the day had been delayed.”
Passengers are reporting long delays as a result of the mixup, with some passengers describing the Southwest delays as a weekend at Disney due to the lines. Others are just getting aggravated at the delays in getting on board and getting home on this Columbus Day weekend, NBC News reported.
“‘Southwest air lining thousands up outside,’ one (social media) post said. ‘No water, no food, no sunscreen — pure hell.’
“When (passenger Robert) Kupyers finally arrived at an automated check-in device, he sang ‘Hallelujah.’
“In a tweet, the airline apologized for the delays, saying, ‘We are working to restore service to our Customers, and we appreciate your patience.'”
The Southwest delays are far from the first time a system-wide computer outage or glitch has stranded or seriously inconvenienced passengers. As the Inquisitr reported back in 2013, a computer reservation system called Sabre caused several delays when it went down. The outage lasted nearly three hours, impacting 300 airlines at 100 airports around the world. With that outage happening just after midnight Eastern Standard Time, the largest number of American airports impacted by the outages were on the West Coast. Internationally, Australia appeared to be worst hit with the Sabre outage.
With the Southwest delays, the airline is likely to suffer in the on-time ratings that were surely boosted after its acquisition of Atlanta-based AirTran Airlines. The Inqusitr looked at the best on-time airlines in 2012, and at the time, AirTran was ranked number four. Ahead of the low-cost budget airline? Hawaiian Airlines at number one, Delta Airlines at number two, and Alaska Airlines at number three.
In that survey, Southwest ranked as one of the worst airlines for online departures, ranking number 13 on the list. Only slightly better was American Airlines at number 12. Who outranked Southwest in delays (at least in 2012)? The unwanted honor went to JetBlue Airlines, which came in at number 14 on the list.
The Associated Press reported the Southwest delays were still causing backups, though it is unknown when the delays at Southwest-serviced airports could clear up. If you are flying Southwest, the airline again urges you to arrive two hours early.
[Feature image via William Thomas Cain/Getty Images]