MIAMI — Southwest Airlines passengers across the United States continued to face cancelled or delayed flights Friday, as the airline continued to recover from a lasting computer outage that began Wednesday afternoon.
Over 250 flights were cancelled throughout the Southwest Airlines network on Friday bringing the total number of cancelled flights for the week to over 1,800 flights.
“Southwest Airlines began experiencing intermittent performance issues earlier this [Wednesday] afternoon with multiple technology systems as a result of an outage. We [Southwest] are now managing flight delays across our system, with a temporary ground stop in place for those flights that have not left the gate. We [Southwest] apologize to our Customers whose travel plans are impacted.” the airline said shortly after the initial computer outage.
The glitch came during the height of the summer travel season and just two days before the airline would release their quarterly results that missed industry estimates.
Speaking to CNBC Thursday, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly addressed the outage saying “We depend on phone companies and power companies, et cetera, but this was all on us.”
— Gary Kelly (@gary_kelly) July 21, 2016
Southwest Airlines Senior Director of Network Operations — Control Steve West spoke via Facebook Live Friday, in order to update customers on the ongoing outages.
“Today was the first day that we were in a more recovery plan. We are well ahead of the curve.” said West. “We are making sure that if we are making any schedule adjustments, such as cancellations, we are doing it well in advance. What we are doing is trying to reset the network. That is a complicated piece that we have to do. But it takes a couple, two to three days to totally get there, and each day we are making progress.” West went on to say.
In an effort to assist passengers affected by the cancellations, Southwest is providing passengers travelling from Wednesday through Tuesday a 14-day window to “start their trip again if they would like to keep their city pair and their fare intact.”
For passengers with a non-refundable “Wanna Get Away” ticket, Southwest is allowing passengers to convert their paid fare into a virtual gift card.
On Thursday, Southwest stuck true to its low-cost heritage and offered the public a one-day collection of fare sales across the country. Due to website troubles on the day of the sale, Southwest extended the sale through the 28 th of July.
As the weekend nears, Southwest is running a record number of flights. Friday alone, Southwest will have an operating schedule of 3,900 flights. This is up greatly from their peak summer schedule of around 3,500 daily flights. Southwest will continue to run a heavy schedule into the weekend as part of their network reset.