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Southwest Computer Problem Causes Airport Delays


UPDATE July 21, 10:41 a.m.: (AP) -- Southwest Airlines says it has fixed computer problems that caused hundreds of flights to be canceled, but it is telling passengers to get to the airport early because there could be long lines.

The airline has already canceled more than 220 flights Thursday. At Sacramento International Airport, some of the flights canceled were arrivals from San Francisco, LA and Orange County.

Several of the airline's technology systems were affected by an outage that started Wednesday afternoon, causing the cancellation of nearly 700 flights and delays for hundreds more.

Southwest's website crashed, and the airline briefly held up all departing flights Wednesday.

Southwest says in a statement that most systems are back online.

UPDATE: 4:10 p.m.:  A Southwest Airlines computer system problem caused seven flight cancellations and 51 delays for passengers at Sacramento International Airport Wednesday.

The airport is asking passengers without bags to check to use the self-service kiosks to print their own boarding passes.

2:00 p.m.:  Laurie Slothower is with the airport. She says the problem began a little before noon.

"There was a nationwide computer outage that kept Southwest employees from being able to process passengers through boarding. We received word about 1:30 p.m. that it has been resolved. However, there is a pretty lengthy line at ticket counters at Terminal B. So, we are telling passengers to expect delays and stay in contact with Southwest for more information.  They've been posting updates on their Twitter feed."

The airline's website has an animation of a plane taking off and a message that says, "Please do not refresh your browser. We will automatically transfer you to Southwest.com as soon as possible."

Slothower says it's too early to tell how many passengers are effected.


Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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