Southwest technical issues cause long lines at LAX, flight delays nationwide

Southwest Airlines urged travelers with morning flights to use the carrier's online check-in service and print out boarding passes before arriving at LAX today following a weekend nationwide computer failure that delayed hundreds of flights.

"We thank our employees for their tireless efforts to take care of our customers and we appreciate our customers' patience as we work toward a solution,'' the airline said in a statement.

The airline also asked customers checking baggage to print bag tags at a self-service kiosk near the ticket counter and present identification to Southwest employees.

Customers stuck in long lines waited in the heat at Los Angeles International Airport and at other fields across the nation Sunday as a nationwide computer failure prompted agents to issue handwritten tickets for departing flights.

The airline asked that all U.S. passengers arrive at least two hours ahead of their scheduled departures today.

LAX police tweeted out a photo of a huge line in Terminal 1 Sunday as passengers tried to make morning flights. By 6:30 p.m. Los Angeles time, about 450 Southwest flights nationwide had been delayed, a Southwest spokeswoman in Texas told City News Service. The airline operates 3,600 scheduled flights per day.

The airline blamed the delays on "technology issues, which are requiring us to process customers on their individual itineraries.''

The airline was continuing to use backup systems to check-in passengers who arrived at airports without printed or mobile boarding passes, according to a statement.

Southwest is one of the busiest carriers at airports in Los Angeles, Burbank, Orange County and San Diego.

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