Photo by John Schreiber.
Southwest jet in the air, unlike many of the airline’s grounded planes from computer glitch. Photo by John Schreiber.

If you think flying these days isn’t much fun, it got a whole lot worse Thursday for thousands of passengers at Los Angeles International and other Southland airports who were stranded or waiting out extensive delays as Southwest Airlines continued to recover from a massive computer glitch that halted all of its flights.

The computer failure occurred around midday Wednesday, temporarily keeping all of the airline’s flights grounded as technicians scrambled to get the systems back online. The problem was fixed by early that afternoon, but the outage created a logjam of flights, prompting delays and cancellations across the nation through late Thursday at least.

About 700 Southwest flights were canceled nationally on Wednesday. By late afternoon Thursday more than another 450 flights had been canceled, according to the airline.

According to the LAX online flight-tracker, six departing Southwest flights had already been scrubbed for Thursday as of mid-morning, and about 10 were showing delays. A dozen incoming flights were canceled, and seven others were delayed, although four flights actually arrived early.

The story was the same at other area airports. At John Wayne Airport in Orange County, seven departing flights were listed as canceled, with 20 others delayed. Five arriving flights were scrubbed, and 23 were showing delays.

Bob Hope Airport in Burbank showed three departing flights canceled and five others delayed, along with four canceled arriving flights three delayed arrivals.

Southwest Airlines again apologized to passengers for the problems, saying the airline will “continue to work individually with our affected customers to make this right.”

Most of the airline’s systems were back online today, but flight problems were expected to continue as officials worked to manage the backlog.

“We are focused on getting customers and their baggage safely to their destinations and apologize to our customers whose travel plans are impacted,” according to the airline. “Customers who are booked to travel should check flight status information on Southwest.com and plan to arrive at our airports early, as longer-than-average lines are likely. Flexible rebooking accommodation is available to customers who are holding tickets from Wednesday through Sunday.”

–City News Service

 

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