Southwest Airlines Computer Glitch Prevents Access to Sale Prices


A computer glitch briefly stopped frugal travelers from purchasing Southwest Airlines tickets during that airlines fortieth anniversary sale on Thursday.

The sale, which offered $40 one-way fares on short haul flights, began on Tuesday and lasted three days.

On Wednesday and Thursday customers began to experience some website hiccups as Southwest's automated booking agent appeared to bend under the pressure of airfare opportunism.

Brandy King, a spokeswoman for the company, told Aol Travel that while it was possible that heavy traffic might have caused the glitch, the airline didn't know with certainty.

"We did have very high bookings so it is quite likely," said King, who said the airline's booking agent stalled for only 15 minutes while other functions, like reservation changing, cut out completely.

King added that the website was in no way affected by the small fire that broke out on Thursday in a computer room at Love Field, the airline's home base, diverting several flights as controllers evacuated the site. Southwest claimed the fire resulted in the delay of 30 flights, but did not say if there was any connection between the two computer problems.

Last Friday, a United Airlines "network connectivity" problem led to the cancellations and stranded thousands of flyers.

Southwest has encountered similar technical errors in the past: In March, the airline delayed roughly 300 flights due to a telecommunications problem.

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