FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - American Airlines was back up and running on Wednesday morning, but the carrier and its passengers now face a long day of playing catch-up. Nearly, 1,000 flights were canceled on Tuesday after the airline was hit by a computer glitch. It took around four hours for American Airlines to resolve the problem, and even longer to get travelers back on their way.
Jets were parked on the tarmac for hours on Tuesday, some of them filled with passengers, while the delays and cancellations piled up. And just as the planes were lined up at the gates, travelers were lined up at ticketing counters, trying to re-book flights. The airline said that a software problem caused its primary and backup computer reservation system to go down.
Passengers were clearly fed up with the delays. "All the gates were full, so we couldn't even get to the airport," said traveler Kenneth Ekhibise. "We were sitting in the plane for two hours before we could get off the plane."
American Airlines is offering some relief, including full refunds for some passengers. And as the carrier tries to pacify frustrated flyers, its chairman and CEO is also offering an olive branch. Tom Horton issued an apology on YouTube, saying that the airline will work harder to regain loyalty which may have been lost by this incident. "We're responsible for getting you to business meetings," he said, "and we don't like to let you down."
Horton also lauded his employees for working hard to fix the system and taking care of passengers during the stressful time.
The airline expects operations to be running as normal on Wednesday, but a few residual delays and cancellations could still be required. As of early Wednesday morning, only about 10 flights at DFW International Airport were canceled.