October 12, 2015 / 1:16 PM / 2 years ago

Southwest Airlines still recovering from widespread delays

(Reuters) - Southwest Airlines Co is working to deliver late bags and shuttle displaced passengers after a software failure led to some 500 delays on Sunday, a spokesman said in a statement.

Southwest Airlines planes are seen in front of the Las Vegas strip, Nevada, United States April 23, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The U.S. budget airline expects its technical systems to perform “normally” Monday, according to spokesman Brad Hawkins. The disruption slowed boarding for Southwest flights nationwide and impacted the process for booking new travel.

Hawkins said there was “absolutely no evidence” that a cyber security breach caused the application failure.

The delays follow several high-profile computer problems faced by U.S. airlines in recent months. Industry consultants say the impact of computer disruptions will keep growing as airlines automate an increasing chunk of operations, outfit their planes with Wifi and distribute boarding passes on smartphones.

In September, American Airlines Group Inc stopped domestic takeoffs for nearly two hours to three of its largest hubs because of “connectivity issues.” In April, it delayed flights when an iPad application used by pilots to view airport maps malfunctioned.

A router error in July temporarily locked rival United Continental Holdings Inc out of its reservations records, blocking check-in and boarding.

Southwest, which says it carries more passengers in the United States than any other airline, resorted to back-up procedures so 75 percent of its flights operated on-time Sunday, Hawkins said. It is letting customers with travel plans through Monday change their itineraries online.

Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in New York; Editing by W Simon

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