Travel problems persist at Lindbergh Field for Southwest flyers

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SAN DIEGO – Anger and frustration continued Thursday at Lindbergh Field as Southwest Airlines struggled with technical problems.

Hundreds of travelers stood in long lines working with agents to deal with flight delays and cancellations.

“We’ve been traveling for over 5 days with little sleep,” said traveler Arvin Datta.

On Monday, the Datta family just returned from India. The family from Portland landed in San Francisco, where they transferred from an international airline to Southwest Airlines and the troubles began.

“From Southwest we’re going to Orange County and now to San Diego and they’re offering to send us back to Orange County now,” Arvin said.

For two days, travels dealt with the airline's technical snafu. In Thursday's statement, Southwest said:

“We've identified the cause as a technology breakdown in our network in which the redundant systems that are in place did not kick in as they should. We have taken steps to prevent it from happening again.”

The breakdown caused nearly 700 canceled flights and some 2,000 delayed flights on Wednesday.

On Thursday, of the 3,900 scheduled flights, Southwest said planners still canceled 450 flights because of displaced planes and crew.

“We ended up staying stuck in the airport. No sleep or nothing. We already ended up spending an extra $1,000,” Latha Datta said.

Latha said she understands sometimes technology fails, but felt the whole situation could have been handled better by Southwest.

“It’s not our problem. It’s their problem. They should do some accommodations or give us food vouchers to help us out,” Latha said.

As an apology, Southwest has extended its low-fare sale, to which the Datta family said, "no thank you."

“We’re not even happy, we don’t want to come back to Southwest again, I mean that’s the way I feel,” Latha said.

Customers who are holding booked travel Wednesday, July 20 through Sunday, July 24 are under flexible accommodation consideration and have two weeks from their original date of departure to rebook travel at the original fare, at no additional cost.

Customers flying Southwest should check flight status on Southwest.com and plan to arrive at the airport early, as longer than average lines are likely long.