Early Wednesday morning anybody traveling with United Airlines experienced serious delays as the flights remained grounded due to “automation issues” others are simply calling it a computer glitch.
The Washington Post reports that the two hour delay affected 4,900 flights worldwide. The delays have caused thousands of passengers to miss their flights.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a “ground stop” after United Airlines warned them of their “automation issue.”
Mike Kelly, an employee of On Call International, a travel risk management company told the Washington Post, “Although the FAA has lifted the grounding ban on all United Airline flights, the travel disruption that occurred this morning will still cause a massive interruption for business travel. Any time that there is an airline travel issue such as this morning’s, the trickle-down effect that it causes tends to impact business travelers and their employers for days if not weeks afterwards until operations return to normal.”
United took to Twitter on three separate occasions this morning in an attempt to keep travelers informed of what was going on. The first post said, “We experienced a network connectivity issue. We are working to resolve and apologize for any inconvenience.” About an hour later they tweeted, “We’re recovering from a network connectivity issue & restoring flight ops. We’ll have a waiver on http://united.com to change flights.”
Flights resumed after they had been delayed for more than an hour, according to CNN. Interestingly enough, the network connectivity issue coincided with a computer problem at the New York Stock Exchange. Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security chief told the public that the two incidents were not connected. CNN also reported that another airline official said, “There was no hacking whatsoever.”
According to ABC News, a few hours later travelers finally have some answers which are not quite as vague as the initial “automation issues,” “United officials say an issue with a router degraded network connectivity, impacting the company’s ability to communicate data to aircraft on the ground.”