JetBlue operations delayed as ‘global’ computer outage briefly cripples airline, again

Another month, another computer outage snarling morning travel.

JetBlue reported Tuesday morning that operations had been slowed by what it called a “global Sabre outage impacting multiple airlines.” By 5:22 a.m. EDT, the airline tweeted that its systems were recovering but that customers might experience longer-than-average waits at some airports as it worked to catch up.

It was the third such outage in two months for Sabre, the backbone of many airlines’ reservations systems and other critical tech functions. Without its systems, airlines are unable to check in passengers or issue boarding passes, nor can customers check themselves in at self-serve kiosks.

JetBlue confirmed its systems were affected by the Sabre outage early Tuesday morning. (Photo: JetBlue)

In a statement, Sabre spokesperson Jess Mathias told USA TODAY that the problem was due to an internal failure with one of Sabre’s network suppliers: “This impacted a subset of our customers who communicate with our systems via CenturyLink’s network.  The issue has now been fully resolved, and airlines are returning to normal operations.  We apologize for any inconvenience.”

Matthias would not say how long the latest outage lasted or which airlines were affected.

When Sabre’s system went down on March 26 and April 29, American and Alaska were also affected. However, American and Alaska told USA TODAY they were not impacted Tuesday.

Contributing: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY

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