HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By: Howard Dicus
United Airlines had profound computer problems nationwide - and then a briefer problem afterwards at the UAL terminal at Honolulu airport.
Passengers tweeted trouble nationwide long before officials did. By 2:30 a.m. HST, they were reporting computer problems and lines at United terminals. At 3:45 a.m. HST, United tweeted, "We experienced a network connectivity issue... we are working to resolve and apologize for any inconvenience."
The FAA said it was a full ground stop, confining all United mainline jets to the tarmac until their computer connections were restored. At about the same time, LAX tweeted that the UAL system was "slowly coming back." Later United tweeted: "We're recovering from a network connectivity issue & restoring flight ops... we'll have a waiver on united.com to change flights."
Hundreds of fliers heading west to Hawaii were at risk of missing connections at Denver, SFO and LAX, depending on how late their flights back east took off.
There, the computer screens at the United terminal at Honolulu International Airport went dark during the 5 a.m. hour HST. United customer service personnel began making out paper boarding passes, with their supervisor making regular announcements, standing on the baggage tables in the ticket counter, one saying, "This will be slow, and tedious. We ask your patience." He said passengers who checked in online from home and printed boarding passes "should be okay" but "we're not checking in anyone for international flights at this time."
The electricity came back on before 7 a.m., the computer screens came back on, the reservations system worked, and agents immediately reverted to their regular procedures. It look like everybody booked on Flight 72 to San Francisco made it on the flight, though the departure may have been delayed past the usual 6:25 a.m. time.
A morning flight to LAX seemed to be boarded normally. By 8 a.m. agents had processed passengers for a flight to Majuro.