Alaska Airlines flights resume with delays

Alaska Airlines flights resume with delays

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by KGW Staff and Associated Press

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kgw.com

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 8 at 4:22 PM

PORTLAND -- Alaska Airlines flights are back up and running, after a network outage that grounded flights and caused major delays Monday morning, officials said.

Alaska officials said eight more flights would be canceled Monday. The airline also waived any change fees and was refunding tickets through October 22 for passengers traveling through Tuesday.

Customers can check alaskaair.com or call 1-800-ALASKAAIR, but may experience long hold times.

The airline's data connection partner, Sprint, had experienced a network outage which affected Alaska’s ability to check-in customers, explained Port of Portland spokesman Steve Johnson.

The failure caused delays at the Seattle-based airline's entire network of 64 destinations, which also included airports in Alaska, Mexico and Canada, as well as PDX. Alaska Airlines has an average of 436 flights a day.

The airline was initially unable to check in passengers for any flight starting at 7:40 a.m. Monday.  The computer problem was caused by a combination of two fiber optic cuts in the Sprint system.

Sprint spokeswoman Crystal Davis in Reston, Va., says one occurred at a construction site along railroad tracks between Chicago and Milwaukee, and the other was somewhere between Portland and Seattle.

If there had been only one disruption, the computer system would've been able to reroute the traffic. She says the failure Monday was caused by the combination of the two cuts. It also affected some other Sprint customers in parts of Washington, Oregon and California.

Davis hopes one fiber optic line will be fixed by 3 p.m. Pacific, which should put Alaska Airlines back in business.

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