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Southwest, Delta, other airlines see delays at BWI Airport after software system goes down

Flights were delayed at BWI Marshall Airport and other airports across the country after a software system used by major airlines went down Monday morning, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue were among the airlines experiencing delays Monday morning after the software system, Aerodata, went offline, FAA spokesman Gregory Martin said. The widespread outage caused delays across the country.

The airlines use Aerodata to measure weight and balance planes, allowing airlines to plan flight paths and determine how much fuel to use, Martin said.

By about 7:45 a.m. the system was back online, he said.

“There should be minimal delays,” Martin said.

Flights to Baltimore from several Florida airports experienced delays Monday, passengers said.

Robert Gauldin arrived at Baltimore/Washington International an hour late on Monday morning after his Southwest flight was delayed at the gate at Orlando International Airport.

Gauldin, 83, of Westminster, who had been on a trip with his family to their summer home, said the Orlando airport terminal descended into chaos as more and more passengers arrived for their flights, but no planes left.

“It was mass confusion, you’d call it,” he said. “Everything there was delayed. It kept filling up because people were coming in to catch a flight, and they couldn’t get on. But it all worked out.”

Florida resident Gregg Lilley, whose Southwest flight Monday to BWI was delayed about 30 minutes, wasn’t too perturbed. Many of his fellow early morning passengers slept through the wait, he said.

But he heard from a co-worker who was driving the New Jersey Turnpike and noticed the lack of plane traffic overhead.

“There’s not a plane in the sky right now,” he said the co-worker told him.

Rick Faby, 61, of Locust Point, had spent the weekend in Naples, Florida, and had bought tickets for a 6:15 a.m. flight home from Fort Myers to get back in time for work Monday.

At first, Faby thought the issue was specific to Southwest Florida International Airport, then checked the news and realized it was a nationwide technical problem.

“We were only delayed one hour,” he said. “They got things back up and got us on our way.”

Lawrence Kurzius’ return flight from Jacksonville, Florida, landed on time, just after 9:30 a.m.

But the plane sat on the runway for about a half hour, said Kurzius, the chairman, president and CEO of the Hunt Valley-based spice maker McCormick & Co.

“It was a little bit after 10 when we pulled to the gate,” he said. “A small delay.”

smeehan@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sarahvmeehan

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