Date
26 March 2017
Passengers wait in line at a United Airlines counter at the Newark International Airport in New Jersey on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters
Passengers wait in line at a United Airlines counter at the Newark International Airport in New Jersey on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

United Airlines computer failure disrupts flights worldwide

United Airlines suffered a two-hour computer failure on Wednesday, disrupting travel for thousands of passengers worldwide.

The fault was traced to a router malfunction that prevented the carrier from ticketing passengers and dispatching crews, Bloomberg News reported.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the company had canceled 61 flights and delayed another 1,162, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The airline’s persistent travails raise the prospect that customers may pick other carriers, according to consultants.

“This is not a weather problem catching everyone,” said ’s Jay Sorensen, of IdeaWorks Company, a consultancy firm for the travel industry.  “This is something unique to a specific airline.”

“Consumers are very upset and have zero patience when that happens and really expect the airline to bend over backwards in terms of compensation,” Sorensen added.

Computer woes have been a recurring theme since the 2010 merger creating United Continental Holdings Inc. from the former United parent UAL Corp. and Continental Airlines Inc., according to Bloomberg.

As recently as June 2, United had to suspend US takeoffs for a little less than an hour after another computer failure.

The router malfunction affected computers at Chicago-based United including the Shares reservation system, said spokeswoman Megan McCarthy.

United said affected travelers would be able to get a waiver to rebook trips without penalty.

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RA/CG

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