Southwest Airlines flights faced nearly 2,000 delays or cancellations throughout Saturday, with the company blaming an outage in its IT systems.
As of 9pm, FlightAware.com showed that there had been 470 cancellations with 1,438 delays over the course of Saturday – about 40 percent of all flights flown.
“We are experiencing flight disruptions across our network today as we briefly paused our service this morning as we worked to resolve an intermittent technology issue, as well as ongoing weather issues affecting multiple areas within our system,” the airline continued Twitter.
‘We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and will continue to work with customers who are experiencing a disruption in their travel plans.’
The airline cited “intermittent performance issues following routine overnight maintenance of some of its backend technologies.”
Though not specifically Southwest Airlines, a “map of misery” on Saturday showed a series of delays across the country, including Miami, Chicago, New York and Washington DC
FlightAware showed more than 460 canceled flights and 1,380 delays
There were dozens of frustrated travelers taking to social media about how their weekend travel plans had been ruined.
A traveler who experienced a five-hour delay with the airline expressed his disappointment on Twitter.
“So @SouthwestAir will just keep delaying the flight and not provide any explanation as to what is going on or why? Like people don’t have plans? This is so ridiculous that I’m going to miss my entire event because of it. I need some kind of compensation for that.’
Originally, the source of the delays was a “planned system outage,” they say KPRCwhere Southwest’s IT was down for two hours from 4am
The airline blamed “intermittent performance issues following routine overnight maintenance on some of its backend technologies,” but the outage appeared to last at least an hour longer, with delays affecting Southwest flights across the country, including Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, DC
Some passengers tweeted their itineraries online, showing delays were getting later
Southwest Airlines flights were delayed and canceled throughout Saturday
On April 1, Southwest posted this cocky tweet. On Saturday, it didn’t seem so funny to the airline’s travelers
On Friday, the airline made a joke in recognition of the April Fool’s joke.
“You want a joke? Baggage fees,” the @SouthwestAir account wrote, but the tweet didn’t go over well a day later.
“Kind of distasteful to make a joke on Twitter when everything seems to be delayed today,” Ryan Breton wrote in response.
“Nice April Fool’s joke – you have hundreds and hundreds of passengers in Chicago that you can’t get on planes and you have hundreds more in Saint Louis and that’s exactly what I saw – how about fewer jokes and more results?” tweeted Christopher Dabek.
“A joke is that you canceled my family’s flight from Orlando for no reason. THEN cancel our rebooked flight within 8 hours of departure. Unacceptable. Now we are stranded with no hotel and no way to get home. Never fly southwest again,” added B. Hopt.
“It’s almost as funny as getting a text at 11:30pm saying your morning flight was cancelled. The Punchline sits on hold for two and a half hours, waiting to speak to a representative to reschedule a flight. You guys dig deep into April Fools’ jokes,” wrote another Twitter user.
A Twitter joke from the day before suddenly wasn’t quite as funny for those affected by delays
On Friday, Alaska Airlines had canceled more than 100 flights, affecting more than 15,000 passengers along the West Coast, as off-duty pilots picketed during an impasse in contract negotiations that had lasted nearly three years
About 9 percent of the airline’s flights were canceled, including 66 in Seattle, 20 in Portland, Oregon, 10 in Los Angeles and seven in San Francisco, according to flight-tracking website flightaware.com.
Pilots held a nationwide rally and picket lines in all of those cities, according to the Alaska Airlines pilots’ union, which blamed the airline for not hiring staff now that more Americans are traveling in a post-pandemic world.
“Alaska Airlines has failed to properly plan for increased travel demand and take necessary steps to ensure pilots are attracted and retained,” the union said in a statement, adding that those pickets were off duty and not on contributed to the cancellations.
The airline admitted in a statement that it did not serve thousands of customers but also tried to blame pilots for ongoing delays that could last into the weekend.
“It takes everyone in Alaska to run a successful and reliable operation,” the company said. “We are grateful to all of the staff who work hard to get our guests where they need to go.”
The cancellations and pickets come as air travel returns to pre-pandemic levels and demand rises as many Americans head into spring break for long-delayed vacations.
On Saturday, Alaska had far fewer problems, with 79 flights canceled and 81 delayed.
Travelers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport check the status of flights as more than 15,000 are stranded on the West Coast after more than 100 flight cancellations by Alaska Airlines while pilots picket amid a gap in negotiations
The pilots lined up outside the airport and held a conference at all of their picket lines on Friday to discuss the stresses the pilots have endured over the past three years. Pictured is Captain David Campbell (left) in front of the airline’s hub in Seattle, Washington