Southwest apologizes for nationwide flight delays

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Southwest Airlines customers wait in long lines after computer glitch delays flights.

SAN DIEGO — Southwest Airlines issued an apology Thursday after passengers in San Diego and at airports across the nation were forced to deal with extensive delays caused by a computer failure.

Southwest “began experiencing intermittent performance issues” Wednesday afternoon, which prompted a temporary halt to all flights that had not yet left the gate, according to the airline. The ground stop was lifted around 1 p.m., but delays continued throughout the day.

In a statement released Thursday morning, Southwest spokeswoman Linda Rutherford said more than 221 flights had been canceled.

“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,” Rutherford said. “Most of our systems are back online this morning following yesterday’s technology outages, but recovery will take some time.”

Rutherford said additional cancellations and delays would be possible as the airline positioned its aircraft and crews.

About 25 Southwest flights in San Diego were delayed Thursday morning and six were canceled, according to flight status information posted on the San Diego International Airport’s website.

“Thank you for hanging in there with us,” Rutherford said. “We will have more information later regarding flexible rebooking, and we will continue to work with each and every affected customer to make this right.”