Computer glitch causes huge delays for Alaska Airlines

(Photo via Wikipedia)

There are some seriously unhappy travelers across the country today as a computer system at Alaska Airlines, used to prepare flight plans, failed. That’s causing many flights to be delayed or canceled, and the blood pressure to rise at airports in Seattle, San Francisco and other locations served by the airline.

“I have spent as many hours in the airport this morning as I did sleeping last night. Alaska Airlines…you have failed me,” wrote one upset traveler in a Twitter message. Another traveler noted that it is bad timing since many people are just trying to return home from Spring Break.

Another person quipped: “Alaska Airlines: for when you absolutely, positively don’t need to get there.”

Alaska issued a statement on the matter this morning:

A central computer system used to prepare flight plans and other information went down this morning and is causing multiple departure delays and some cancellations. Many morning flights have been delayed by two hours or more and other delays are expected throughout Alaska Airlines’ route network until the system is restored.

Passengers are advised to check the status of their flight on www.alaskaair.com or by calling 1-800-ALASKAAIR before leaving for the airport.

IT specialists are working aggressively to restore the system and have made some progress since the system went down at 3 a.m.

UPDATE: The Associated Press reports that 60 flights have been canceled so far this morning.

UPDATE 11:59 a.m: In a Tweet, Alaska Airlines said that its computer systems are now functioning properly. In total, the outage lasted about nine hours.

“Our computer system is functioning & we hope to continue to operate flights for the rest of the day. Pls chk flt status,” the airline said. Delays are still occurring as the carrier works through bottlenecks created by the glitch.

UPDATE 8 p.m.: Latest Tweet from Alaska Air explains in more detail what went wrong: “While installing a back-up power supply system this morning, a transformer blew — that took out our central computer system,” the company wrote.

Also, the presidents of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air apologized in a YouTube video posted earlier today.

[Hat tip to KING 5]

  • Someguy

    In other news, Alaska Airlines is looking for a new VP of IT.

  • Paul

    Still can’t check flight status online, still some level of computer failure at 2:30 m Pacific. Hmm…

    • johnhcook

      Interesting, they just posted on their Twitter account about 40 minutes ago that flight status was working.

      http://twitter.com/#!/alaskaair

      They wrote:

      Flight status is back up & running on alaskaair.com. We’ve also issued a relaxed ticket policy. Details: http://bit.ly/hDj92j

  • Novatogail

    My son”s flight home from Burbank canceled 1 hr before 12:00 lift off. They said soonest flight Wed. He’s 17 and they don’t care, oh they refunded his ticket and told him he was on his own