Massive Airline Computer Outage Disrupts Flights

Flight delays can be caused by everything from UFO sightings to breakdowns in state-of-the-art technology. The latter mucked up the travel plans of hundreds of travelers when Sabre, your friendly neighborhood global airline-reservations system, suffered an outage today.

The computer outage disrupted dozens of flight schedules earlier today, causing a wave of cancellations and delays at U.S. and international airports. But things are back to normal now: Sabre tweeted this morning that its system has been restored.

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USA Today reports that the computer-system failure lasted for a few hours and mostly affected Monday-night red-eye and evening flights out of West Coast airports. According to the AP, Sabre's system was down from about 8:40 p.m. PT through 11:00 p.m. PT. Airlines impacted by the Sabre meltdown include Alaska, American, JetBlue, Frontier, Virgin America, Qantas, Ethiad, and British Airways.

The system failure caused problems with reservations, check-in, and boarding. One airline—Virgin Australia—solved the problem by crafting handmade boarding passes with pen and paper, reports NBC News. When modern technology fails, at least we have basic office supplies to fall back on.

The Sabre global reservations system is used by more than 300 airlines around the world. So when outages occur, the resulting problems are widespread, to put it mildly. This isn't the first time Sabre's system has gone down, and it's undoubtedly not the last.

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