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A computer outage led to flight delays for some of the US’s biggest airlines

The outage affected American Airlines, JetBlue, and other major airlines.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker And Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Hold Event Celebrating Opening Of New Gates At O’Hare Airport
American Airlines aircraft sit at gates at O’Hare International Airport on May 11, 2018, in Chicago. 
Scott Olson/Getty Images

It’s been a rough week for airlines — not just for the reason you’re likely thinking of, but also because of a series of strange, inconvenient mishaps. First a British Airways flight accidentally headed to the wrong city and landed more than 500 miles from its intended location. And now a computer outage has resulted in flight delays and check-in issues for customers across the country, TechCrunch reported on Tuesday. The problem has affected passengers on JetBlue, Alaskan Airlines, WestJet, and American Airlines flights and appears to be related to the airlines’ passenger reservations system.

In a statement to TechCrunch, an American Airlines spokesperson described the outage, which has since been resolved, as a “brief technical issue” and confirmed it was related to its flight reservation system, which is provided by the travel technology company Sabre. Sabre, which touts its products as “the world’s favorite technology for the travel industry,” provides booking software used by most major US airlines, including American and JetBlue. The company also has booking and reservations software for travel agencies and corporate travel programs.

On Twitter, a Sabre spokesperson said the company was “aware of the issues facing some of our customers.”

The outage seems to have affected hundreds of airline customers across the country, preventing them from checking in to their flights and causing delays. Passengers were unable to board their flights or, in some cases, even get their boarding passes.

The latest problems happened amid flight cancellations and delays resulting from the Federal Aviation Authority’s decision to ground all Boeing 737 Max jets in response to two deadly crashes involving the model over the past six months. The Sabre outage has nothing to do with the Boeing groundings or the resulting delays, but together, these issues have led to inconveniences for thousands of customers.

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