The CEOs – Mark Dunkerley of Hawaiian Airlines, Gary Kelly of Southwest Airlines, and Brad Tilden of Alaska Airlines — argued airline systems are more complex than what other industries use, making it unfair to compare airlines with other businesses. They also noted many passenger complaints come not from the outages themselves, but the fact it takes airlines longer than the typical business to return to regular operations after any disruption. “What’s somewhat unique about airlines is our customers are experiencing our product as we are making it,” Southwest’s Kelly said at a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. organized by Airlines for America, an industry trade group. “If we suspend flying for an hour, it’s not a matter of turning the airline back on. It takes time to recover. That’s true for any logistics business. But an online service could go down for an hour and turn back on, and you’d never know the difference.” It has not been a good summer for airline technology. In July, Southwest was forced to cancel thousands of flights for several days after a router failed and a backup system did not work as planned. In August, Delta Air Lines had its own technological meltdown when a power failure knocked out key systems. Delta’s backups also did not kick in properly, and the airline’s operation was crippled for days. And last week, British Airways had similar issues, if on a smaller scale. Get the full story at Skift