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Computer Glitch Is Responsible for United Airlines Systemwide Flight Delays

Computer Glitch Is Responsible for United Airlines Systemwide Flight Delays
Jeff Edwards

Issues with the airline’s computerized flight planning system resulted in widespread delays beginning Wednesday morning.

Travelers on yet another major North American carrier found themselves at the mercy of the IT department on Wednesday. In this most recent incident, United Airlines passengers were forced to deal with a cascade of delays reportedly caused by an issue with the airline’s computerized flight planning network.

“The system that creates these flight plans for our crews and employees is experiencing a delay,” United spokesperson Erin Benson told The Chicago Tribune on Wednesday morning. “We are working as quickly as we can to resolve it.”

The airline said that the computer glitch caused a “handful” of delays across the route map, but that no flight cancellations had been attributed to the problem. Multiple media outlets were reporting hundreds of delayed UA flights by 12 pm EST.

Less than two weeks ago, thousands of Delta Airlines passengers were stranded as the carrier suffered through nearly two days in which hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed. The airline cryptically attributed the delays to a crash of “essential IT systems.”

Late last year, issues with the computerized reservations systems simultaneously wreaked havoc at three US carriers. The November 11 outage affected passengers traveling on American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue. The crash came less than a month after reservations systems used by JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Virgin America were concurrently knocked out by an entirely different computer glitch.

The delays reported on Wednesday pale in comparison to a June 2015 incident in which every United Airlines flight in the US was grounded for nearly an hour as the company struggled to address the crash of a critical computerized dispatch system. In this case, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) took the unusual step of issuing an order briefly halting all UA flights in the US.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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