Southwest Airlines computer glitch strands Kansas City residents across the country

Posted at 9:24 PM, Jul 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 13:52:34-04

Hundreds of Southwest Airlines flights continued to be canceled or delayed on Thursday, a day after a computer glitch led to travel issues across the country.

On Wednesday alone, FlightStats Inc. estimated that 700 Southwest flights were canceled and about 2,100 more were delayed because of the glitch.

Staff for Southwest Airlines blamed the computer glitch on a "router breakdown" but said delays and cancellations would continue because of the impact on crew scheduling technology.

The computer glitch led to a travel nightmare for many fliers, including Overland Park resident Kim Cangelose.

Cangelose flew to Houston on Tuesday for a business trip and planned to fly home Wednesday. However, due to the computer glitch, Cangelose was still stranded at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Thursday night.

"It is crowded," she explained over the phone. "There are people everywhere."

Cangelose said her flight home to Kansas City was originally scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, but the departure time kept getting pushed back.

"They [Southwest Airlines] kept saying, 'Five more minutes. Five more minutes.' They kept us here from 2 p.m. to almost midnight," she explained.

Since then, Cangelose said her time at the airport has been spent waiting in long lines and getting bumped off flights she thought she would make.

"There have been no seats available on any flight going anywhere," Cangelose explained.

Cangelose said she has seen plenty of upset fliers, some of whom had to be escorted away from the gate by security.

"People have been irate," she explained. "A lot of people had security called on them."

Due to the uncertainty of when she will return home, Cangelose has had to call off from work and cancel appointments.

By Thursday night, Cangelose's hopes of getting back to Overland Park did not look promising.

"Right now, they have me on a flight going home late Saturday afternoon," she said.

Other fliers from the metro area had somewhat better fortune.

Leawood resident Scott Hardgree flew to Denver earlier this week and hoped to return home on Wednesday night. Due to the computer glitch, Hardgree ended up having to stay the night and drive 30 minutes to a hotel before flying out Thursday morning.

"When I saw the lines [at Southwest Airlines], my best option was try to book on another airline," he explained.

After contacting his wife, Hardgree said the two worked together to book him on a United Airlines flight to Kansas City.

"There was only one seat left when I booked that flight," he said. "It was full. A lot of people were from Southwest."

Hardgree said after calling and talking with a Southwest Airlines representative, he was able to get a refund on his hotel and Southwest flight, as well as a travel voucher. However, Hardgree was not refunded for his United flight that cost him about $500 and ultimately got him home.

Customers who missed their flights can contact the Southwest Airlines Social Customer Care Team on Facebook or Twitter, or by visiting



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