United Airlines suffered another of its continuing series of computer glitches today, grounding all flights for a time this morning, and leaving delays and confusion extending possibly into the evening. Up to 800 flights were affected.
The problem was attributed by the airline to a failed router in its computer communication systems that match passengers, planes, crews and tickets. It initially grounded four "mainline" flights and 55 United-branded regional flights, which in turn caused delays to many other flights. Although the original problem is now solved, it takes time for all the disruptions to be over.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, responding to rumors that the problem had been the result of a terrorist hacker attack, said that it was definitely not an attack on the system. Given the number of times this has happened to United since it absorbed Continental a few years ago, that seems accurate. United last had to down flights because of computer glitches in June.
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