Southwest extends fare sale because of glitch, warns of long lines

Southwest warned passengers to expect longer-than-normal lines at airports and to arrive early. For about three hours, passengers couldn't buy tickets, check in for flights or check flight status on the company's website.

It has been a rough morning for Southwest Airlines travelers, dealing with long lines at Midway International Airport, a day after a computer glitch led to hundreds of canceled flights nationwide.

In a video posted on Thursday night, Southwest Chief Communication Officer Linda Rutherford said the the airline was "thinning our schedule to reduce flights for remainder of the evening".

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"Most" of the systems were back online Thursday morning, but another 300 flights had to be canceled to manage lingering flight disruptions across the system, according to the statement.

Many Southwest Airlines passengers are still patiently waiting to get to their destination after almost 24 hours of delays and cancellations.

By about 5 p.m. Central time, Southwest had canceled 16 flights, more than any other USA carrier, and delayed 245 others, according to tracking service FlightAware.com. "It's really frustrating - especially if you have children, because they don't understand", said Amber Tunistra, another Southwest traveler.

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"If your travel was disrupted, we will be flexible in rebooking you".

The problem affected Southwest Airlines. "I called Southwest and we were on hold for two hours, so we made a decision to just head to the airport and hope to talk to a real person". The issues began Wednesday afternoon, which caused a temporary ground stop for flights that had not left the gate.

As a result of the initial technical issues, the airline canceled almost 700 flights Wednesday and worked to operate hundreds more that were delayed. Last October, an estimated 800 Southwest flights were delayed when a software application malfunctioned, forcing employees to issue tickets and boarding passes by hand.

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"Baltimore flights are canceled, so you had to go inside and worldwide canceled", said Arnel Hines, of Bloomfield.

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