DALLAS - A computer problem Wednesday canceled hundreds of Southwest Airlines flights and left passengers across the country stuck and frustrated on Thursday.
Southwest is still working to get flights back on track after a power and computer system outage Wednesday afternoon caused a nationwide ground stop. The computer glitch is fixed, but officials said rescheduling flights and rebooking everyone affected may take a few more days.
Flights were back up in the air about an hour after the crash, but the computer problems continued throughout Wednesday evening. Visitors to Southwest’s website could not buy tickets, check in for flights or check their flight status.
Then, because Southwest could not update flight information, flights still showed up on the website as being on time. Many travelers sat in terminals or on planes for hours.
“You didn’t get any updates or delays or gate changes, so it kind of was a little confusing. There wasn’t a lot of communication,” said Chris Cleary, who was stuck at Love Field.
People took to Twitter voice their frustration about long waits and long lines at each gate as travelers tried to get refunds, schedule new flights, cancel flights and get hotel rooms.
One passenger was traveling to close a sale on a new house.
“This is affecting the house sale,” said stranded passenger Toney Turner. “The people are meeting me there this evening. I can’t fly.”
Southwest released a statement acknowledging the issues with "multiple technology systems as a result of an outage." It also apologized Thursday morning.
“I want to start off by once again apologizing to our Customers and reiterating that your experience throughout the past 24 hours is not the service you should expect from Southwest Airlines,” said Southwest spokeswoman Linda Rutherford. “Most of our systems are back online this morning following yesterday's technology outages, but recovery will take some time. We expect some cancelations and delays as we position aircraft and crews.”
Security lines at Love Field moved slowly Thursday morning as the glitch was restored.
"It’s been pretty crazy,” said passenger Andy Venegas. “This morning I was in line with about 150 people ahead of me. The line was moving about 20 people per hour.”
As of 6:30 a.m. Thursday, Southwest reported it had canceled more than 221 flights. The airline has not explained the cause of the problem.