Skywest Airlines Outage Sparks Delays, Cancellations of Hundreds of Flights

Skywest Airlines customers on Thursday faced frustrating flight delays and cancellations across the country following a computer glitch that lasted about five hours.

Around 700 flights were canceled, affecting some of the largest U.S. airline operators, Reuters reported. SkyWest provides regional services for American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

A SkyWest internal computer problem temporarily disabled operations for about five hours before it was fixed, and flights started to resume on Thursday evening, according to the report.

SkyWest serves millions of North American travelers every month and is one of America's largest regional services.

A spokeswoman for the company said that changes to the schedule would include flight cancellations into Friday morning "as we work to get crews and aircraft into position."

SkyWest issued an apology for the incident, informing Newsweek via email on Friday morning: "We expect to continue to see additional cancels through Friday as we work to recover operations.

"SkyWest experienced an internal technical issue, resulting in approximately 700 flight cancellations before the issue was resolved Thursday evening.

"We apologize to customers for the inconvenience; we are working to minimize the impact on Friday's schedule and to return to normal operations as quickly as possible."

ABC30 spoke with travelers who were expecting to depart on flights via San Francisco International Airport.

Traveler Phillip Hogan told a reporter: "It has been mysterious and frustrating," before adding that the most irritating thing for him was the lack of effective communication.

He said: "I understand bad things happen, weather mechanics and so forth. But they should be able to give you some information, some comfort and security."

Scores of frustrated travelers took to social media to express their annoyance at the inconvenience of the flight cancellations.

Statement from Skywest:

— Ryan Ewing (@FlyingHighRyan) October 22, 2021

John Freeney tweeted: "Anyone have info on #SkyWest outage? Impacting #United #Delta #Alaska here in #Boise.

"Sitting here in BOI next to a #skywest pilot, he does not know what's going on ... cuz communications system is down. Gate attendant is trying to keep us updated ... but doesn't know ... so it's pointless."

Marco Orsetti appeared to agree, tweeting: "Stuck in Seattle trying to get to Sacramento. Pretty sad state of affairs we are in that the country can't operate in a 'manual mode.' Server outage shuts down and entire airline."

Aviation website FlightAware showed that scores of SkyWest flights were in the air early on Friday morning ET.

The news of the airline issues came as major carriers continued their drive to get as many staff as possible vaccinated against COVID.

Delta Air Lines said earlier this month that 90 percent of its employees had already been vaccinated, despite the company not issuing a vaccine mandate for staff.

American Airlines
An American Airlines aricraft sits at a gate at O'Hare International Airport on May 11, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois. U.S. regional air carrier Skywest Airlines was reportedly hit by IT issues, resulting in grounded flights across the country Scott Olson/Getty Images