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American Airlines orders systemwide ground delay due to computer glitch

Apr 16, 2013 12:27 pm

Skift Take

The precise cause of the problems hasn’t been articulated, but American obviously needs to get this fixed promptly. This is potentially inconveniencing thousands of travelers, and will cost the airline in dollars and goodwill.

— Dennis Schaal

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Report: Social Media Customer Service in the Travel Industry

Computer problems forced American Airlines to ground flights across the country Tuesday after the airline was unable to check passengers in and book passengers.

The problems started in late morning, and by Tuesday afternoon American said on its Twitter account that it had ordered a systemwide ground delay until 5 p.m. EDT as it worked to fix the problems.

“We’re working to resolve the issue as quickly as we can. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience,” American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said in a statement.

Nancy St. Pierre, a spokeswoman for reservation manager Sabre, said there are “no issues” from the Southlake, Texas-based company’s system but that there is a connectivity problem, which Sabre does not manage for American.

Flight-tracking website FlightAware.com reported that all inbound American flights to Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare airports were being held at their originating cities.

After the problems began, flights at DFW Airport were delayed, with a few aircraft sitting on the runways, but not taking off.

“We’re seeing some planes on the tarmac that haven’t departed at this point. We’re mobilizing resources to help where we can. If that means helping deboard aircraft, we’re ready to do that,” said DFW Airport spokesman David Magana.

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