Computer outage briefly grounds flights on several airlines

Markets Associated Press

Airlines are dealing with another computer outage that is disrupting flight schedules heading into the weekend.

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American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Alaska Airlines confirmed that a technology glitch briefly interrupted their operations on Friday, and other carriers may also have been involved. The problems seemed to have been fixed by midday, and airlines reported that flights had resumed.

The airlines blamed their difficulties on a breakdown in systems operated by Sabre Corp., a Texas company that provides software and other technology services to airlines and hotels.

A Sabre spokeswoman said the systems were running again by early Friday afternoon. She said she did not know the cause of the breakdown.

Passengers at several big airports went on social media to complain about flight delays.

Tracking service FlightStats Inc. said that by early afternoon more than 200 American Airlines flights had been delayed and 11 were cancelled.

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Technology outages have struck almost all the carriers at one point or another over the past two years. Airlines rely heavily on overlapping computer programs to handle everything from selling tickets to checking weight calculations before takeoff. When outages occur, they often lead to cascading delays that can linger for hours.