(Corrects paragraphs 9 and 10 to show United glitches were in
By Ingrid Melander and Tim Hepher
PARIS Oct 14 Thousands of passengers were
delayed worldwide after a computer glitch temporarily halted
departures at United Airlines, the latest in a series of outages
to affect rival companies in the industry.
"Earlier tonight we experienced an issue with our weight
reporting system, which caused system wide flight delays," the
airline said in a statement on its Twitter feed late on Thursday
in the United States.
"We have resolved the issue and are working to get customers
to their destinations as soon as possible. We apologize for the
Passengers said they had been forced to wait onboard planes
or inside terminals as flights were delayed for several hours.
"On the plane for more than an hour, away from the gate and
no communication. What's happening?," one passenger tweeted.
In Paris, passengers complained as check-in lines grew for a
flight to New York, a Reuters reporter said on Friday morning.
The airline said the problem had been resolved as of 3 a.m.
eastern time (0700 GMT) on Friday.
It is the third computer glitch to hit United's owner United
Continental Holdings in recent months and the latest in
a series of problems that have tested the reliance on technology
of some of the world's largest carriers.
On June 2, 2015, software needed to dispatch United's flight
plan briefly lost functionality.
In July 2015, the same airline's flights were disrupted
after a computer problem blocked access to reservations records.
The following month, Delta Air Lines cancelled
hundreds of flights and delayed many others after a power outage
hit its computer systems.
And in September, a system-wide computer problem at British
Airways caused significant delays.
After the two previous incidents, United Continental
Holdings said in July it had invested in backup plans.
But multiple recent outages have prompted some experts and
passenger groups to question whether the airline industry has
invested enough in technological infrastructure, given new
profits from baggage and cancellation fees.
(Reporting by Ingrid Melander, Tim Hepher; Editing by Keith