One of the world’s largest airline computer reservation systems suddenly failed Monday night, causing delays for passengers at Sea-Tac Airport and around the world. At 9:20 p.m. Alaska passengers were told there was no-way to check them in, and some passengers were told there could be delays getting their luggage on and off the flights.
“They gave me a sheet of paper explaining the computer crash”, said Nathan Mitchell, while waiting to check in for his flight to LAX. “But I can’t get answers at all. I heard the agents were getting people on the flights writing names on paper instead of the computer,” he said.
“Sabre” is a computer flight reservation technology used by Alaska, American, United, Jet Blue and nearly 300 other airlines worldwide. 46 minutes after the computer failure, the company released a message via twitter:
"Sabre is experiencing a system issue. Our technology team is working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation."
Soon travellers were expressing frustration on social media from airports around the world. By 11:15, the computers started showing signs of life again at SeaTac and passengers were able to check-in after a delay lasting over two hours.
For Alaska passengers, the computer glitch was the second in two months causing delays. On June 28th an internal computer problem caused some flights to be delayed for two hours until the system could be rebooted.
At last check there was only one significant departure delay out of Sea-Tac for Tuesday. That was an American Airlines flight bound for Chicago.