Sabre Outage Hobbles Airline Reservations, Grounds Flights

Tuesday, 06 Aug 2013 01:53 PM

By Megan Anderle

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An outage at the airline reservation system Sabre created a massive inconvenience for airlines and travelers across the globe early Tuesday morning, delaying and cancelling dozens of flights.

The outage lasted about two and a half hours and started around 12:20 a.m. EST, CNN reported.

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"Sabre is experiencing a system issue," the company wrote on Twitter during the outage. "Our technology team is working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation."'

The Sabre system, based in Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas, is used by more than 300 airlines and more than 100 airports worldwide.

"More than 300 million passengers are put on airplanes every year using our technology," the company says.

Virgin Australia manually checked in customers and had to cancel at least 12 domestic departures from Sydney. Johannesburg's international airport said British Airways flights experienced delays, and Alaska Airlines said 50 flights failed to take off on time. Airlines that were also affected included American, Frontier, JetBlue, LAN, and Virgin America, according to NBC News.

At least three airlines – Alaska, Virgin Australia and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad – were forced to issue boarding passes using pen and paper.

“Not much fun for us trying to get back to our families,” tweeted Melbourne-based user Janet M.

Flights in the air were not affected.

The outage was resolved around 2:30 a.m. EST.

“Sabre customers were unable to connect to our system for a period of time this evening,” spokeswoman Nancy St. Pierre said in a statement. “This has been restored and everyone is now able to connect to Sabre. We apologize and regret the inconvenience caused.”

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Related stories:

American Airlines Flights Grounded Amid Computer Malfunctions

World Trade Center Owner Sues Airlines for 9/11 Attacks, Wants Billions

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