A few flights in and out of Seattle running hours behind schedule.
CHICAGO — United Airlines was experiencing delays Wednesday afternoon at airports across the country, including some flights in and out of Seattle, because of an earlier systemwide computer problem affecting flight plans.
The system that creates flight plans for crews and employees experienced a delay early Wednesday morning, United Airlines spokeswoman Erin Benson said. At Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, 80 United flights were listed as delayed as of midday, according to the live flight-tracking website FlightAware.
Similar delays were being reported at airports across the country, with 87 United flights delayed at Newark Liberty International; 75 at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental; and 37 at Washington’s Dulles International, among others.
A check of FlightView, a tracking website used by the Port of Seattle, showed significant delays for only a handful of United flights in and out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. A United departure for Boston was about 2 hours late, while a flight due in from Houston was running 2 hours and 30 minutes late. Most other delayed United flights at Sea-Tac were running no more than 30 minutes behind schedule, according to a midafternoon check.
The Associated Press reported the computer problem resolved by 2 p.m. Pacific time.
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John Meola, 49, an information technology administrator from Jersey City, N.J., told the Chicago Tribune he was stuck at the gate on United Flight 1502 from Newark to Havana for more than an hour Wednesday morning before passengers were told to deplane.
“The pilot said they couldn’t get their flight plan,” Meola said.
Meola, who was headed to Havana on a Spanish-language immersion program, said he is frustrated by the delay and by the lack of guidance from the airline. Meanwhile, he and some of his fellow passengers were in a holding pattern at a bar across from the boarding area, waiting to see when their flight might take off.
“It’s particularly frustrating to me as an IT person that something like this can happen,” Meola said.
The flight plan delay is the latest computer issue to affect United and its passengers. On Jan. 22, the airline was forced to ground all domestic flights for 2 1/2 hours because of a problem with the system used to send pilots technical information needed before flights can depart.