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Computer Glitch Delays Southwest Flights at Bay Area Airports

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF & AP) – A computer glitch forced a ground stop Wednesday afternoon on all Southwest Airline flights out of all Bay Area and other airports nationwide, officials said.

On Twitter, the company sent out a statement saying that "Southwest Airlines began experiencing performance issues earlier this afternoon with multiple technology system as a result of an outage. We are now managing flight delays across our system with a temporary ground stop in place for flights that have not left the gate."

A search of Southwest flights at Bay Area airports shows that all are currently delayed.

Southwest did not give an indication when flights would resume taking off again only saying "We have a team of experts working diligently to resolve the technical issues."

Meanwhile, passengers were taking to social media to voice their frustrations.

By about 2 p.m. PDT, Southwest had canceled 16 flights, more than any other U.S. carrier, and delayed about 150 others, according to tracking service

Airlines have sprawling, overlapping and complicated technology systems, and even brief outages can cause thousands of passengers to be stranded for hours.

Last October, an outage caused about 800 Southwest flights to be delayed and forced employees to issue tickets and boarding passes by hand. The airline blamed a software application, and it recovered in about a day. United Airlines and American Airlines both had computer problems last summer but fixed the problems within a day.

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