Passengers were stranded at airports across the country Friday night after a failure in United Airlines’ computer system, the airline said.
The disruption set off widespread delays at airports in San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, with many passengers left sitting in terminals or stuck on planes that were grounded.
United said in a statement that the problems began at 8:15 p.m. New York time, when the computer failure knocked out its flight departures, airport processing and reservations systems. The statement did not address the nationwide delays, and a spokesman did not return a phone call seeking comment.
It was not clear what had set off the computer failure, but United said in its statement that it had a technology team in place that was struggling to restore the system.
“We apologize for the disruption being caused to travelers at affected airports, and we are seeking to resume operations as quickly as possible,” the airline said.
Passengers at San Francisco International Airport reported a chaotic scene at the United terminal, while others waiting for flights at various airports around the country took to Twitter as they sat in limbo.
“Sitting on the plane in Chicago wanting to go home so badly but the whole computer system at United Airlines has shut down,” wrote @RonRhoads. “Delayed!”
Another stranded passenger, @mettlinger, posted from Dulles International Airport, or IAD: “Latest announcement at IAD: ‘Every computer system United Airlines has is down ... Our computers are paperweights.’ ”
Sources: The NewYork Times