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Long lines at Sea-Tac airport. Photo via Bill Schrier

The severing of a fiber optic cable in Wisconsin is causing havoc for those traveling on Alaska Airlines today, with the Seattle-based airline saying in a message on Facebook that it has been forced to revert to manual check-ins.

That’s causing delays and long lines at Sea-Tac, the home base for Alaska Air. Alaska’s network provider is Sprint, which according to TechCrunch is having problems with its voice and data network across Washington, Oregon and Minnesota.

Even soccer commentator Alexi Lalas — in Seattle for last night’s Seattle Sounders-Portland Timbers match — appears to be caught in the fray. He just Tweeted this photo of the scene at Sea-Tac:

So @AlaskaAir is having a nightmare in Seattle. Computers down and chaos in terminal. But I remain awesome.

More of the mess at Sea-Tac. Photo via Bill Schrier.

UPDATE 12:15 P.M.: Former City of Seattle Chief Technology Officer Bill Schrier, who is stuck in the mess, said that Alaska Air just canceled three California bound flights and also sent people walking down the lines telling people to go home.

UPDATE 12:50 P.M.: Schrier tells us that Alaska Air just announced that the systems are coming back online. Let us know if you continue to experience problems.

Here’s the full note that Alaska Air posted on its Facebook page.

We sincerely apologize to our customers who are traveling this morning and that have been impacted by a network outage. We are working as quickly as we can to have network access restored for our computer systems. Here are some updates and additional background information:

At 7:30 a.m. PST, Sprint, Alaska Airlines’ Internet provider, went down after a fiber network cable was cut in the midwest. Sprint provides us with connectivity to Sabre, the system used for reservations, check-in and to purchase tickets. The outage is preventing customers from checking in and is causing delays systemwide.

We have implemented a manual process to check-in customers, however, this process will be slow and flights will depart late.

If you miss a flight, we will do our best to reaccommodate you on the next available flight and will begin putting customers on other carriers if necessary.

We will continue to provide updates here on Facebook and at

Thank you for your patience.

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