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Massive Computer Glitch Wreaks Havoc Nationwide For Air Travelers

REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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Southwest Airlines cancelled more than 250 flights Friday, after a Wednesday “technical glitch” continues to cause problems.

Southwest Airlines reported a technical glitch knocked its website offline for several hours Wednesday and delayed flights across the country. Its website did not allow users to book or check-in to their flights, and issued the message, “We’re working hard to get you where you want to be…Thank you for your patience.”

The Dallas Business Journal reported a router failure caused Southwest Airlines’ system to crash, and all backups failed, prompting flight delays and cancellations nationwide since Wednesday. The company lost around $10 million in lost bookings alone due to the glitch.

According to Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, the massive computer systems failure was by far the worst in Southwest Airlines’ history. He said that the company tried to fix the problem for hours, but had to ultimately go back to the “bedrock and reboot everything,” according to the Dallas Business Journal.

Flightaware.com reported that 700 flights were canceled Wednesday, 300 Southwest flights were canceled Thursday and at least 250 more were cancelled so far Friday. Southwest has released a video to alert customers of their options if their flight plans have been interrupted due to the glitch

Southwest Airlines is the United States’ fourth largest carrier by volume and operates about 9,300 daily flights during the summer. Convention-goers departing from Cleveland following the conclusion of the Republican National Convention were also affected. At least three flights out of Cleveland were cancelled Friday.

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