United Airlines states
human error was behind a computer outage that brought operations to
a halt at the carrier for two hours Wednesday, grounding
approximately 300 flights and causing ripple effects that continued
Airline officials told The Associated Press operations had
more-or-less returned to normal, with a handful of delays Thursday
morning. Calling Wednesday "a difficult day for our customers and
you," United CEO Glenn Tilton made a point of praising employees'
handling of the tense situation.
"You did excellent work in overcoming a tough problem and doing
your very best for our customers throughout the day," Tilton added,
in a message to United workers... many of whom have openly criticized
Tilton and other United executives, for accepting
lucrative bonuses in the wake of the airline's time in Chapter 11
As Aero-News reported, all
domestic flights were grounded by the glitch from 0800 until 1000
CDT Wednesday morning. United's international flights were not
affected, according to spokeswoman Robin Urbanski.
UAL Chief Operating Officer Pete McDonald said the problem was
caused by failure of the carrier's Unimatic system, which handles
flight dispatching operations, during a systems test. A backup
system failed, too.
"Yesterday, an employee made a mistake and caused the failure of
both Unimatic and our backup system," McDonald said. He did not
elaborate on what the error was.