FAA Lifts Ground Stop on Alaska Airlines After System Glitch

Alaska Airlines flights grounded nationwide due to technical glitch, causing significant delays and disruptions for passengers. The airline is working to resolve the issue and resume normal operations.

Emmanuel Abara Benson
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Alaska Airlines Flights Grounded Across the country, a technical problem caused disruptions.

Alaska Airlines Flights Grounded Across the country, a technical problem caused disruptions.

Alaska Airlines has resumed flight services after facing a major disruption on Wednesday morning due to a system issue that affected the calculation of weight and balance of its planes.

TrimFeed gathered that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had imposed a ground stop on the airline and its regional carrier Horizon Air, causing widespread flight delays.

Following an approximately hour-long ground stop, the FAA cancelled the restriction after Alaska Airlines resolved the issue with its weight and balance calculation system. The disruption stemmed from an upgrade to the system, causing residual flight delays throughout the day.

Passenger complaints surfaced on social media platforms as Alaska Airlines worked to address the situation and resume flight operations swiftly. Shares of Alaska Air Group experienced fluctuations in response to the disruption, initially paring gains but eventually rising 2.6% by midday.

Notably, SkyWest, which provides regional service for Alaska Airlines and other carriers, was exempted from the ground stop imposed by the FAA, ensuring continued operations for its flights.

According to Alaska Airlines officials, the ground stop was necessitated by a glitch in the airline's computer systems, which affected flight planning and dispatch capabilities. The issue prevented the airline from safely operating its flights, leading to the nationwide grounding.

"We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused our guests," said an Alaska Airlines spokesperson in a statement. "The safety of our passengers and crew is always our top priority, and we are working diligently to resolve the issue as quickly as possible."

Passengers took to social media to express their frustration and share their experiences, with many reporting long lines at airports and extended wait times for information from the airline. Some travelers were stranded on planes that had already boarded, while others were stuck in airports awaiting updates on their flights.

Why this matters: The ground stop advisory issued by Alaska Airlines highlights the vulnerability of modern air travel to technical disruptions. The situation highlights the need for strong backup plans and clear communication approaches to reduce the effect on travelers during such occurrences.

Alaska Airlines stated that it was working closely with its technology partners to identify and resolve the root cause of the issue. The airline also deployed additional staff to assist affected passengers and provide them with updated information on their travel options.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Alaska Airlines announced that the technical issue had been resolved and flights were gradually resuming normal operations. However, the airline cautioned that passengers should expect residual delays and cancellations throughout the day as it works to accommodate the backlog of affected flights and reposition aircraft and crew.

Key Takeaways

  • Alaska Airlines flights have resumed flying nationwide after being grounded on Wednesday due to a computer system glitch
  • FAA issued a ground stop, halting all departures until the issue resolved
  • Thousands of passengers were affected, with long lines and delays reported
  • The airline worked to identify and fix the root cause, hence the resumption of normal operations