Software glitch sees Southwest Airlines cancelling hundreds of flights

Last week US air carrier Southwest Airlines had to cancel more than 1850 flights, following fall out from a technical glitch that extended into five days.

“We are continuing our work to reposition displaced crews and aircraft as a result of Wednesday’s technology issues,” Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King said in a Friday morning email to the press. “We have more than 250 systemwide cancellations today, as we continue our recovery efforts.”

The software bug saw the Southwest Airline’s website offline for several hours, causing severe flight delays.

In a statement, Southwest has confirmed that the company is “reporting a full recovery across our flight network” after “rebuild[ing] our operations after a technology outage on Wednesday, July 20.”

The airline operates around 3900 flights daily in the peak summertime season.

Customers are number one priority

In addition to the website being down for several hours, a high volume of customers calling to rebook seemed to have overwhelmed airline staff.

“Our employees in airports, online, and on the phone are assisting a significant number of customers and hold times are much longer than average,” Southwest said.

Southwest is allowing most customers who had tickets to fly during the affected time period (20 – 26 July) to change their tickets at no cost.

During the carrier’s quarterly earnings call, Bob Jordan, Southwest’s Chief Commercial Officer said that the carrier will extend a current fare sale by another week. He also emphasised that every customer affected by the disruption would be contacted.

“Priority one is to take care of our customers, so everyone affected will be hearing from us,” Jordan said.


Edited from sources by Cecilia Rehn.

Southwest Airlines