United Airlines Computers Fail, All Flights Grounded

United Airlines experienced a computer glitch that grounded all of their flights today, according to the AP.

United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said the airline did not yet know what caused the outage between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. CDT, when departures were able to resume.

“We were experiencing a computer outage and now our computers are back up,” she said. “Right now we’re working hard to resume our operations.”

All of United’s O’Hare flights were delayed between 1 and 2 hours today. At other airports the delays were less pronounced . “I expect it to decrease as the day goes on,” Michael McCarron, director of community affairs for the San Francisco International Airport told the AP, “and by noon, (it will) be pretty much back on track.”

Did this glitch affect you? tips [at] consumerist [dot] com.—MEGHANN MARCO

Computer Glitch Halts United Flights [US News & World Report]
(Photo: Michael L)


Edit Your Comment

  1. polarogak says:

    The only glitch is with people who fly United.

  2. Smoking Pope says:

    United, as many bad things as I’ve heard about them, did right by me when I was delayed while flying with them. I had a 3.5 hour delay (not their fault, massive snowstorm) flying from Chicago to Tucson.

    When the flight finally left, I was given as many free beers (Heinekens, too!) as I wanted until we landed. Of course, the fact that they handed out the flight attendant customer survey at the end of the flight was just a coincidence, I’m sure.

  3. catita says:

    Juicy raspberry syrup kiosk machine terror! :)

  4. markusfarkus says:

    You know something similar happened to me just over a year ago now. I was flying from GSP to BOS. My flight was supposed to leave at 6:30 AM or something like that. I got to the airport and the United line was forever long. Finally they started reporting that there were going to be long delays. All flights were delayed until 10:00 AM. I thought that was ridiculous. So when I got up to the front desk I gave them the sob story about going to see my girlfriend. They put me on the first US Airways flight and I landed only half an hour later than I should have.

    I wouldn’t say it was the best thing to happen, but I was very happy they worked with me and got me to my destination.

  5. Hey, that’s my picture…thanks for using it!

  6. whydidnt says:

    It’s amazing that they have no way to operate without the computer. What if it died and couldn’t be revived for several days. Would they just shut down? It seems to me that since they know they ALWAYS have flights scheduled there should be some sort of paper/manual way to continue operating at some level in the event of a computer failure. Short of that, how about redundant systems?

  7. jerseyjokeboy says:

    Microsoft Windows, anyone?

  8. aiken says:


    Er, it was a two hour computer outage. How long do you think it would take to get the entire company switched to the backup plan? We’re talking *tens of thousands* of employees and *hundreds* of locations. It’s not a five minute switchover.

    Heck, they may have been in the process of going to a backup plan, for all you or I or anyone else knows.

  9. dix99 says:

    One day,I can see ‘Microsoft Windows’ bringing this country to a complete stop