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Online Booking Problems Delay Hundreds Of Southwest Airlines Flights

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Hundreds of Southwest Airlines flights have been delayed due to technical problems, with the Dallas-based company warning passengers flying on Monday to already print their boarding passes before driving to the airport.

Technology issues that started Sunday morning are continuing. According to official statement from the company, these are impacting its in-airport customer service technology systems across its online platforms and prompting it to process some passengers manually as they arrive.

“We’re continuing to use back-up systems around the country to check in customers arriving at our airports without printed or mobile boarding passes,” the statement read.

The airline requested passengers to be at the airport at least two hours prior to their scheduled departure and, if checking luggage, proceed to a self-service kiosk for printing bag tags before presenting luggage and identification to employees.

Earlier in the day, a couple of dozen individuals gathered at the airline terminal, waiting for their handwritten tickets. About 450 out of 3,600 scheduled flights on that day, Southwest said, had been delayed.

Southwest representatives had not identified any cause for the technical problems or how long it will take to fix them, but they ruled out hacking as a potential reason.

Flying from Denver International Airport to Detroit, Emily Mitnick missed her 10 a.m. flight even while she arrived at around 8 a.m. Based on her estimates, about 1,000 were lined up at the check-in counter to get their boarding pass, while hundreds were also in line at the curbside check-in.

The passenger reached security at about 10:15 a.m. and was working on getting on a Chicago flight to Detroit.

Southwest, the fourth largest American airline by traffic and top airline among domestic passengers, is experiencing the computer issues of American Airlines last month that affected flights on select routes. Airline officials at that time announced that the problem had been fixed in less than two hours and also dismissed system hacking.

Shares of Southwest have increased for four straight months for a gain of over 20 percent, although it is still down 5.6 percent this year. The annual decline is an underperformance versus the 2.1 percent decline in the S&P 500 within the same period.

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