Heavy traffic spurred by a fare sale has swamped Southwest Airlines’ website for a second day, leaving many customers unable to book flights.
The airline extended its sale by one day, through Friday, to give frustrated customers more time to buy tickets.
The website problems started Wednesday, a day after Southwest announced a fall-travel fare sale.
Thursday morning, some customers trying to book flights online were getting a message telling them that part of the website “is undergoing maintenance and is currently unavailable.” The message directs people to call Southwest’s toll-free number, but a reporter who did that got a busy signal.
Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King said on Thursday that the 800 number was working, but call volume was high. By Friday morning, the website was working properly.
“We continue to closely monitor but our response times have vastly improved and all essential functions are turned on and working,” King said in an email on Friday.
The airline boosted the website’s capacity before announcing a three-day sale Tuesday, but demand was greater than expected, King said. As technicians worked to repair the system, Southwest extended the end of the sale, which was supposed to end at midnight Thursday, through Friday.
The sale features prices as low as $49 one-way on some short trips between Aug. 25 and Dec. 16, with blackout dates on Fridays and Sundays and around Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Southwest didn’t say how many seats were available at the sale fares. Other airlines said they matched Southwest prices on routes where they compete.
Staff writer Andrea Ahles contributed to this report.