United Airlines Service Hit by Computer Outage

by Christopher Freeburn | August 29, 2012 12:04 pm

Passengers of United Continental Holdings’ (NYSE:UAL[1]) United Airlines were delayed for about two hours on Tuesday afternoon after the company’s computer network shut down[2].

Thousands of people waiting to board the company’s¬†jets at airports around the country discovered that the computers that print boarding passes weren’t working, forcing United Airlines workers to hand-write passes in order to get passengers on their planes, the Chicago Tribune noted.

The computer disruption prompted enormous lines at United counters and airport security checkpoints.

United Airlines apologized for the delays and indicated that it wouldn’t charge passengers additional fees to canceling or changing affected flights. The system has since returned to normal operation.

The problems appear to stem from on-going technical difficulties with the integration of the computer networks of United Airlines and Continental Airlines, which merged operations in 2010.

Yesterday’s crash¬†affected the airline’s reservation system, which books and assigns seats on airplanes, as well printing the boarding passes required for passengers to gain entry to the planes.

In addition to hefty lines of disgruntled passengers at its airport counters, United was forced to temporarily halt flights to its Newark, New Jersey, and San Francisco airport hubs.

Shares of United Continental Holdings slipped fractionally in Wednesday trading.

Endnotes:
  1. UAL: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=UAL
  2. after the company’s computer network shut down: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-28/business/chi-computers-down-at-united-20120828_1_karen-pride-flights-outage

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