A fiberoptic cable cut in Wisconsin Monday morning led to an outage of Alaska Airlines' computer network, delaying flights and angering passengers stacking up in terminals nationwide.
Shortly before 10 a.m., the airline posted on its Facebook page that "At 7:30 a.m. PST, Sprint, Alaska Airlines' Internet provider, went down after a fiber network cable was cut in Wisconsin. Sprint provides us with connectivity to Sabre, the system used for reservations, check-in and to purchase tickets. The outage is preventing customers from checking in and is causing delays systemwide."
The Huffington Post reports that the technical problem left Alaska Airlines, which is the largest air carrier in Seattle, unable to check passengers into flights. The delay left long lines and angry passengers in its wake.
Alaska airlines has made an effort to apologize to all passengers effected by the computer malfunction, and, as of 9 a.m., the SeaTac-based airline has begun manually checking travelers in for flights out of Seattle.
"We have implemented a manual process to check-in customers, however, this process will be slow and flights will depart late," the company said. "If you miss a flight, we will do our best to reaccommodate you on the next available flight and will begin putting customers on other carriers if necessary."
Seattle television station KING said that Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden reported being hopeful for a solution by about noon Monday and normal operations resuming by 5 p.m. Pacific Time. Passengers in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were reporting being issued hand-written boarding passes.