United Airlines is down because of a computer systems crash. Details are minimal as to what has actually happened. Here's some sources.
Chicago: Chicago Breaking News puts the start of the problems at 7:15 p.m. Central (8:15 p.m. Eastern) and reports major problems at O'Hare. A later update attributes the first official announcement of the problem as coming from the FAA, not from United.
Flyertalk forums: Major Systems Outage Impacting United's Airport and Online Operations details problems into the night affecting United locations nationwide.
Web site, United.com: at 1:13 a.m. Eastern, the error is "Sorry, your request could not be processed due to system error. Please click the link below to check the flight status." Later, a statement, unsigned, undated:
This evening, United Airlines experienced a computer outage interrupting the airline’s flight departures, airport processing and reservations systems. As a result, customers may experience difficulties completing transactions at united.com and United reservations. Our technology team is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. We apologize for the disruption being caused to travelers at affected airports and we are seeking to resume operations as quickly as possible.
In 2009, a similar problem, perhaps:
FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said that United had ordered a ground stop of its planes on its own that ended at 7:55 a.m. The problem began about 5:15 a.m., she said. United had told the FAA that it was a computer issue that made the airline unable to check in people for flights and resulted in an inability to get final flight information to the cockpit, Cory said. "I only remember in my 10 years one other time" that computer glitches have caused this much trouble with flights, Cory said.A second report shows a similar system-wide glitch in 2007, here reported by CNET:
A total of 24 domestic flights were canceled, and 268 domestic and international flights were delayed by an average of one and half hours, according to United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski Janikowski. "We do not know the cause of the outage, and it's something that we will investigate. The computer outage affected the systems that United uses to dispatch flights for departure," Janikowski said in an e-mailed statement.Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9732049-7.html#ixzz1PbZgy3Bn Make that twice in 10 years.
For some musical interlude, enjoy "United Breaks Guitars" from 2009.