United Airlines Flights Depart

Posted by BBC News on Jun 18th, 2011 and filed under BBC News USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

All flights are at this moment ready for takeoff. No more waiting on the gate. United Airlines has repaired the computer problems that grounded planes across the country.

That incorporated a dozen red-eye aircraft that were scheduled to go out of Hawaii Friday night. Travelers did actually have packed plenty of persistence.

The five-hour computer blackout turned Honolulu’s United counter at Honolulu International Airport into a sprawling waiting room. Hundreds of passengers sat on their gear, played games on their phones, and found ways to entertain themselves.

One passenger reported, “I’ve already done four crosswords, since 1:00 p.m.” and we interviewed her at 8:00 p.m. Another, Carly Bergerhouse, expressed, “It was long and tough to wait, and yeah, it was irritating.”

United Airlines’ computer system went down soon there after 2:15 p.m. nationwide, bringing the aircarrier to a halt. All aircraft were grounded as the company worked to restore its computers. It was a malfunction that interrupted check-in kiosks, flight departures, reservations, and processing, creating gridlock at airports around the country.

“When we got here there were just people everywhere and they were trying to organize us into lines,” saidPam Peterson, who had been on vacation in Hawaii from San Francisco. “It was a long time for people to endure in line. They came through with water and pretzels for everybody and I think they handled it pretty well considering.”

At 6:50 p.m., the airline gave people signs of hope. One representative announced, “Bear with us. We need to process all of you. The computers are up, the bag tags will work, we’ll try to work as fast as we can.” Racing the clock to avoid more delays, airline crews managed to get all customers from earlier flights checked in within an hour.

Peterson was satisfied. “As long as we get back in a reasonable amount of time, we’re gonna be good. I think they’re holding the plane for us so it should be fine.”

Those passengers just returning for their flights got through check-in with plenty of time for it to spare. Gregory Clayton, who lives on Oahu joked, “I point out that if we hadn’t attended in flying, then the computers would still be down. Everything showed up.”

He added, “It was great. It’s been a good day.”

“Hawaii was excellent, but we’re always anticipating going home,” Peterson said.

United broke the news on Twitter. And then, with thousands stuck at airports tweeting, it started trending. Even world-famous surfer, Kelly Slater, got in on the conversation. Slater was stuck in New York on his way to San Diego, and tweeted, “@UnitedAirlines is killing me on this hour on the runway after a three and a half hour delay.”

Hawaii passengers fared much better for.

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