Southwest Airlines Says Technology Disruption Forces Delays

  • Airline says engineers continue to work on addressing problem
  • Passengers encouraged to arrive two hours early for flights

Southwest Airlines Co. delayed several hundred flights Sunday as a technology glitch affecting its reservations forced the airline to manually process travelers.

Customers were being asked to arrive at least two hours before their scheduled departure times and use self-service kiosks to print boarding passes and tags for luggage they plan to check, the Dallas-based airline said in a statement on its website. As of 5 p.m. New York time, the problem had yet to be resolved, spokeswoman Michelle Agnew said in an e-mail. The issue has affected the airline’s website, mobile application, reservation centers and airport computers.

“We still have all our technology folks behind the scenes working on this,” Agnew said by telephone earlier.

About 450 flights had been delayed in departing by late afternoon, out of about 3,600 flights scheduled for Sunday, Southwest said. 

Travelers have suffered through computer-related delays on several airlines in past weeks. On Sept. 17, a computer failure at American Airlines halted flights to three of its largest U.S. hubs for almost two hours, slowing travel for thousands of passengers. United Airlines’ website stopped working for 2 1/2 hours on Sept. 8, forcing passengers to use mobile applications and airport kiosks to check in.

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