United Airlines’ Computer System Back Up, Delays Linger Nationwide [Update]

Travelers trying to fly to anywhere from anywhere on United this morning are being met with delays, confusion, and misinformation as a massive computer system outage has struck the airline.

Passengers who do not already have hard (printed) copies of their boarding passes in hand are unable to check into flights, passengers are telling media, with different sets of United staff delivering different messages to early-morning passengers around the country.

The FAA has published an advisory that due to “user request due to automation issues,” no United Airlines traffic from any airport will be allowed to depart until at least (but possibly after) 13:15 UTC, which is 9:15 a.m. Eastern time.

Disgruntled passengers from coast to coast and everywhere in between tweeted their frustrations this morning as they were unable to check in, unable to get boarding passes, and unable to clear security:

At the moment, trying to access the “Today’s Operations” page on United’s site returns an error saying, “We’re sorry, but united.com was unable to complete your request.”

Likewise, trying to click through and check the status of a specific flight — like the 8:30 from Dulles to LAX — currently returns the error, “We could not process your request, please see the message below and make revisions,” followed by, “We could not find flight details matching your request.”

Update, 9:55 a.m.: In a statement, United confirms a problem, saying, “We experienced a network connectivity issue this morning. We are working to resolve this and apologize to our customers for any inconvenience.” The airline has not yet provided an estimate for when they expect the problem to be resolved.

The ground stop has been lifted for United’s regional partners at this time but continues for the airline itself. Approximately 3500 flights are affected so far, according to NBC. The longer the issue persists, of course, the more likely cascading delays are to set in for the rest of the day as well.

United’s website is now also correctly able to return status updates for today’s flights… which are delayed due to “operational difficulties.”

Update, 10:05 a.m.: The ground stop is no longer in effect, Reuters reports. However, delays are likely to persist for some time. In a second statement, United says, “We are recovering from a network connectivity issue this morning and restoring regular flight operations. We will have a waiver available at united.com for customers who are able to change their flight plans.”

Final update: This afternoon, United explained that their network connectivity issues this morning were due to an issue with a router. “We fixed the router issue, which is enabling us to restore normal functions,” a representative for the airline told the L.A. Times. The ground stop order was lifted after approximately 80 minutes of downtime; delays continue.

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