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July 4th Weekend Starts With United Problems

July 2, 2009 By: George Dooley

The Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) is reporting that United Airlines has suffered a computer glitch and is now issuing a travel waiver for Chicago, United’s hub.
"It's not quite the start to a long weekend but it is a mess and could well carry over to tomorrow. A computer glitch this morning is keeping passengers on the ground and forcing United Airlines employees to manually process each passenger," ARTA reports.


"Officials warned that further delays are expected and cancellations are possible. There are some 2,000 people in lineups stretching outside the terminal. Chicago media are reporting widespread delays and cancellations for United flights out of Chicago this morning. A ground stop program is in place for United flights so none are leaving the airport but flights are arriving," ARTA says. "This is going to affect other cities in the network as planes scheduled to leave other cities cannot take off if the arriving flight is stuck in Chicago."

United's website reports check-in problems: "We are currently experiencing some delays and cancellations due to an airport check-in system issue at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. We advise customers to check-in on and to confirm the latest information on their flights and allow extra time at the airport. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we are working to fix the issue as quickly as possible (11:05 a.m. EST)."

ARTA says that the airline's website has announced it would issue travel waivers for Chicago so the problem is not yet fixed. Some flights are delayed by more than three hours and the computers are still down. These problems tend to continue into the next day, so if you are flying United from anywhere be sure to check your flight, both today and tomorrow.

"Carriers are expecting planes on domestic routes to be more than 90% full over the weekend, with United Airlines flights as much as 94% full, Reuters reported. Its going to be a fun weekend at United and it couldn't happen to a nicer airline," ARTA says.

At 1PM EST Thursday UA Offered a check-in system update online: "United's check-in system issues have been addressed and the number of flights arriving and departing O'Hare is improving.  While there will continue to be some delays, we expect to return to normal operations this afternoon. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience this morning and recommend they continue to use to check flight status and check-in. Customers may also take advantage of United’s travel waiver if they would like to change their travel plans."


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