3:28 PM: A nationwide shutdown of United Airlines’ computer reservation system has ended, but there are still flight delays at San Francisco International Airport this afternoon.
United notified the airport about the shutdown around 1:30 p.m., and the system started back up at about 2:50 p.m., airport spokesman Mike McCarron said.
The shutdown created a backlog of flights at the airport. McCarron did not know how many flights had been affected but said it could take some time before things get back on schedule.
“It’s going to be slow for a couple of hours,” McCarron said.
During the shutdown, McCarron said, the airport had “a lobby full of people” who could who could not check in and “planes at the gate and planes coming that we don’t have gates for.”
United Airlines is the airport’s largest carrier, with 250 to 300 flights per day, amounting to about 40 percent of flights at the airport.
McCarron said a prolonged computer shutdown would have meant a severe backup of both departing and arriving flights.
At Mineta San Jose International Airport, a United flight that was supposed to take off at 1:40 p.m. started boarding passengers at 2:30 p.m., airport spokeswoman Vickie Day said.
The first seven of United’s 10 daily flights from the San Jose airport took off before the shutdown began, Day said.
2:36 PM: A shutdown of United Airlines’ computerized reservation system this afternoon has halted the airline’s flights at San Francisco International Airport, stranding passengers and planes.
“We have a lobby full of people who can’t get checked in,” airport spokesman Mike McCarron said. “We have planes at the gate and planes coming that we don’t have gates for.”
McCarron said a prolonged delay in United planes leaving the airport could create a major backup of arriving and departing flights. He said the airport would experience problems if the delay were to last more than two hours.
“We just have concerns about getting people on the planes so that planes going out get out, and planes coming in get in,” McCarron said.
Jeff Burbank, Bay City News