The American airline United Airlines has just been the victim of a computer bug. Apparently, a simple update has disrupted the functioning of the company’s systems. Hundreds of flights have been delayed in the United States…
This Tuesday, September 5, 2023, all takeoffs planned by the American airline United Airlines have been suspended in the United States. THE 211 flights were stuck on the take-off runway for an hour. All aircraft already in the air were able to continue their journey without any disruption.
We are experiencing a systemwide technology issue and are holding all aircraft at their departure airports. Flights that are already airborne are continuing to their destination as planned. We will share more information as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience as we…
— United Airlines (@united) September 5, 2023
The American agency supervising aviation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), was quick to communicate on the situation by confirming that United Airlines had indeed requested this temporary suspension of take-offs. The FAA referred “equipment failure”.
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Software update cripples hundreds of flights
Firstly, the company mentioned “a general technological problem”, the contours of which remained undefined. Through a press release, United Airlines finally clarified that the problem was caused by a software update :
“A software update caused a massive slowdown in United’s technology systems earlier today”.
So it was not a cyberattack. Again, the company did not specify the name of the software that prevented all takeoffs for an hour. United Airlines adds that everything is in order around 2 p.m., Paris time:
“We have found a solution to remedy the technological problem and the flights have resumed”.
The company says it has contacted affected travelers “to help them reach their destination as quickly as possible”. This is already the second time this summer that United Airlines has been the victim of a computer problem. Last week, the company had already been forced to suspend part of the flights to or from the United Kingdom. Hundreds of flights, also involving other companies, had been canceled due to an air traffic control problem. Thousands of passengers were stranded for 48 hours at a foreign airport. This failure has profoundly disrupted the operation of the air system.
It is far from the first time that planes remain blocked on the ground following a computer bug. In 2013, more than 1,000 American Airlines flights were canceled because a bug crippled the reservation system. A few years later, in 2016, the American company Delta Airlines was also forced to suspend all its flights. A power outage had put his computer system offline. The same year, the Japanese company All Nippon Airways (ANA) was forced to cancel a hundred domestic flights due to a similar problem.