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American Airlines IT glitch halts US flights for five hours

Flights now back up and running
Wed Apr 17 2013, 15:06

COMPUTER PROBLEMS forced American Airlines (AA) to ground all flights in the US for most of the day on Tuesday.

American Airlines, the third largest US airline, shut down its domestic flight operations yesterday, reportedly due to a problem with its computer systems that affected its electronic reservations system. Its regional affiliate American Eagle was also grounded.

In a post on Twitter, American Airlines announced that none of its planes flying routes within the US would take off until 5pm EDT while it worked to resolve its computer system problems. The airline operates more than 3,500 flights daily worldwide.

At around midday EDT the airline announced that its electronic reservations system called Sabre had gone down. However an hour later it announced a ground stop affecting its entire US fleet and said that the problem wasn't related to its Sabre system after all.

AA spokeswoman Andrea Huguely tweeted, "We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as we can, and we apologize to our customers for this inconvenience."

While its planes were grounded the airline helped passengers who were already at airports rebook their flights on other airlines. It also waived passengers' rescheduling fees and gave refunds in other situations.

The company's reservation systems were back up by 4:30pm EDT, but it said passengers would still see flight cancellations and delays throughout the rest of the day.

American Airlines' chairman and CEO Tom Horton addressed the airline's customers in a video clip on Tuesday evening and said that the problem was "a software issue impacting both primary and backup systems." That embarrassed and apologetic video is embedded below.

Apparently American Airlines is flying again today in the US. µ


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