United Computers Are Down, Ground Stop, Good Luck Out There!

United’s computers are down and they’ve placed a ground stop on flights. Hopefully things will be rebooted and working quickly, there aren’t a whole lot of flights left tonight and crews could start to time out.

So far United has only informed the FAA of ground stop until 8pm Eastern:

Due to UAL REQUEST, departure traffic destined to UAL airport will not be allowed to depart until at or after 01:00 UTC.

Needless to say aircraft that are out of position to start Monday morning could cause additional problems as the business week begins.

Update: 7:50pm Eastern, ground stop extended an hour until at least 9:00 pm Eastern.

9:02pm Eastern, flights appear to be boarding across the United system. FAA reports ground stop has lifted.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. United needs to make some real investments in it’s systems. Maybe they should stop their stock buy backs and put the money into a new computer system and better service upgrades. They are penny wise and pound foolish.Nothing has changed.

  2. Before the usual suspects, like @Mark above, come in and begin blaming this IT problem on United’s “chronic incompetence”, let’s remember that DL had an even bigger problem last summer. As reported in WSJ at the time:

    “Delta Meltdown Reflects Problems With Aging Technology —
    U.S. carrier says power outage in Atlanta disrupted its systems world-wide

    By Susan Carey
    Updated Aug. 8, 2016 8:25 p.m. ET

    A power outage at Delta Air Lines Inc. grounded thousands of passengers world-wide during the height of the summer travel season, wreaking havoc on the carrier’s reservations system and drawing attention to antiquated technology that has plagued many airlines”

  3. I was on UA750 LAX-DEN and we were aboard when stop was put in place. We were delayed about 75 minutes but did get to DEN. Customer service lines at DEN were very long. For missed connections I assume

  4. Happily, I was on VX last night . . .

    My nephew — returning from IAD to SJC — wasn’t that lucky. Stuck in IAH, he didn’t get home until 4am.

  5. I’m glad I wasn’t on UA yesterday. Hopefully they’ll take this as a wake up call to start investing in an upgraded computer system not so easily prone to outages. Penny wise and pound foolish seems to rule the day at UA.

  6. All of the major airlines have been seriously negligent in upgrading ancient systems, because mergers and network expansion are more important to the shareholders

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