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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 5, 2013 at 9:52 PM

Systems outage delays flights from multiple airlines

UPDATE 11:20 p.m.: Sabre Airline Solutions says systems are coming back online.

ORIGINAL POST: Airlines including American, Jet Blue, Virgin Australia, Alaska and United are experiencing worldwide problems with their computer reservation systems, run on software from the company Sabre Airline Solutions.

Sea-Tac Airport spokesman Perry Cooper said the problem is airline specific and is not hampering most departures and arrivals. The airport was handling arriving flights, which make up most of the airport’s evening traffic, he said. Flights that had not been able to depart were blocking gates for arrivals, and Alaska and American Airlines asked for extra gates.

“We’re not running into any problems finding places for them to be,” Cooper said.

American Airlines spokesperson Matt Miller said flights stopped departing at 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time and the airline was working to resolve the issue.

Speaking from New York, Jet Blue spokesperson Tamara Young said the outage was effecting the airline’s operations and causing delays across the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America.

“We are working to switch to manual operation so we can get delayed flights out,” she said.

Passengers waiting in line at the airport reported that flights have been delayed because of the computer problems.

CEO of The Cheezburger Network, Ben Huh, started tweeting at airlines to get answers when he arrived at 8:45 p.m. for an Alaska Airlines flight and couldn’t check in. He was trying to fly to Los Angeles for a business meeting.

The frequent flyer line in front of Alaska Airlines was 30 to 40 people deep around 10 p.m., he said.

“We’ve got a bunch of people on red-eyes who are pissed off.”

About an hour later, Alaska started manually checking in passengers.

“I’m out! #laters” he tweeted.

The delays apparently are affecting other airports, too. Madison Wilson, who hopes to fly from Portland to Los Angeles, says she was told her 8:50 p.m. Alaska Airlines flight couldn’t take off because a passenger list could not be printed.

In an email, Sabre spokesperson Nancy St. Pierre wrote, “Sabre is experiencing a system issue. Our technology team is working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation.”

Updates will be sent over Twitter at @SabreNews, she wrote.

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