United Suffers "Systemwide Outage"

United said the computer problem was fixed by 2:45 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012  |  Updated 2:50 PM PDT
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United Suffers "Systemwide Outage"

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Call ahead if you are flying United today.

United Airlines suffered a massive computer problem Tuesday that affected operations at airports and its website for more than an hour.

The airline described it as a "network outage.''

Its main website, United.com, was down for a time, but appeared to be back on line at 2:30 p.m.

The problem forced a ground stop at SFO. The FAA also issued ground stops for all UAL in-bound flights at Newark and Houston.

FAA lifted the ground stops at all three airports at 2:45 p.m. 

United Continental Holdings Inc. has been struggling with computer issues ever since it combined some of its major computer systems in March.

Passengers are lighting social media with complaints about the outages, with some saying boarding passes were being hand-written by United personnel.

There is only one United flight out of San Jose and it was delayed by about an hour, according to airport officials. In San Jose, the spokesperson said the computer system was back up and running as of 2:15 p.m.

United issued the following statement at 2 p.m. Tuesday:

United Airlines has been experiencing a systemwide outage of their passenger service system (PSS), SHARES, since at least 3:20p ET.  This system is used for reservations, ticketing, check-ins, etc.  It is not operationally involved with safety of aircraft, but is critical for checking in and, in some cases, boarding passengers.  It is expected to have a significant impact on United's airline this evening as flights will be delayed substantially because passengers will be unable to checkin for their flights as well as the other operational roles of SHARES.

The SHARES system is from Continental Airlines and the combined United/Continental airlines switched to a combined SHARES system on March 3rd, 2012.

At 4:30pm ET, the FAA issued a ground-stop for all United Airlines (including Express) for flights destined to Newark-EWR (90min) or San Francisco-SFO (30min), two of United's hubs.

We will follow-up with more information and also intend to issue our 6:30p ET Isaac update.

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