Breaking News Bar
updated: 11/15/2012 12:15 PM

United computer outgage delays thousands worldwide

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Thousands of United Airlines passengers around the globe are stranded at airports and on planes after another computer outage at the world's largest carrier.

      Thousands of United Airlines passengers around the globe are stranded at airports and on planes after another computer outage at the world's largest carrier.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

Thousands of United Airlines passengers around the globe were delayed for hours Thursday after another huge computer outage at the world's largest carrier.

The outage lasted for about two hours in the morning, affecting half of all flights on United's main network. It was at least the third major outage for the Chicago-based airline since June.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Major delays across the world, especially those early in the morning, can easily ripple throughout an airline's network. United runs about 5,500 flights a day worldwide.

During the system failure, some furious passengers vented their anger on social media sites.

"Does anyone have a Radio Shack computer or abacus to help United get their system fixed?," tweeted Lewis Franck, a motorsports writer who was flying from Newark, N.J. to Miami Thursday to cover the last race of the NASCAR season.

In a subsequent phone call with The Associated Press, Franck added: "Why is there a total system failure on a beautiful day? What happened to the backup and the backup to backup?"

United Continental Holdings Inc. spokesman Rahsaan Johnson said the outage didn't affect its regional flights on United Express. He said only those airplanes that came from the former United were affected.

United has been struggling with technology problems since March, when it switched to a passenger information computer system that was previously used by Continental, the airline it merged with in 2010. That system, called "Shares," has needed extensive reworking since March to make it easier for workers to use.

Passengers by midmorning reported that pilots and gate agents told them that a backup system was allowing some flights to take off. Earlier, fliers were told by pilots and airport agents that computers were down and they didn't know when the system would come back.

Judd Shapiro of Nashua, N.H. said he got to the gate at Logan Airport in Boston and agents told him that planes could land but not take off.

"JetBlue is taking off, American is taking off, but United is on the ground," he said. "I was having a flawless airport experience until I got to the gate."

About two hours after his plane was scheduled to take off, Shapiro e-mailed an AP reporter to say he was back on a plane.

"Fingers crossed" for takeoff, he wrote.

Michael Silverstein, who works in finance, was supposed to be on a 6:01 a.m. flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The computer outage had already caused him to miss one meeting and he was worried about missing another. So he walked off the plane and bought a $195 last-second ticket on a Southwest Airlines flight to Oakland, Calif.

"I'm frustrated because I'm missing a meeting that I thought I had plenty of time for," Silverstein said.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here