Alaska and Horizon delay, cancel flights after network collapse

Thursday, April 28, 2011, 19:48 by Aviation Correspondent

Alaska Airlines and their sister airline Horizon Air cancelled numerous flights after their computer networks crashed. By Saturday morning approximately 6 hours after the disruption, the two airlines together, cancelled 60 flights and operated only 20. That meant the airline cancelled nearly 15% of its flights nationwide, including those at the Rogue Valley International Airport where dozens of flights were delayed or canceled. The faulty network stranded more than 12,000 passengers at various airports, who rushed in only to find their flights cancelled.

The airlines said that its passengers should verify the status of their flights before leaving to the airport. The carrier also stated that affected passengers were rebooked without any charges and some flew with other airlines. The company also posted an update on their website for the sake of passengers. On Sunday presidents of both airlines apologized to the public in YouTube on behalf of the 13,000 Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees.

After 8 hours or so the problem was solved and by Sunday normal service was resumed, with no delays or cancellations. Apparently a blown transformer knocked out service to the airlines’ computer system and it’s back-up at about 3 a.m. Saturday, which is used to schedule all flights for the carrier. In all, the airlines had to cancel 150 flights in total and delay flights by up to 7 hours.

Alaska Airlines, from yesterday, began flights to the Hawaiian island of Kauai from Mineta San Jose International Airport and Oakland International Airport.

On Thursday Alaska Airlines apologized for the misunderstanding that occurred earlier last week on board one of their flights, in which flight attendants issued a security alert when three Mexican Jews began praying with Tefillin.

Meanwhile, Virgin America airlines and Alaska Airlines are on the radar of Tampa International Airport’s officials as part of their expansion plans.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are both subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group and have code sharing agreements with American and Delta Airlines. Seattle based Alaska flies to 91 destinations, including destinations to the US West Coast and Canada and Mexico.

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