United Airlines grounded briefly due to ‘network connectivity issue’


Friday was not a good time to travel for United Airlines customers. A computer problem led flights across the country to be grounded into early Saturday morning, CNN reports. It’s not clear exactly what happened though, with United pinning the problem to “a network connectivity issue.” The issue was fixed “through troubleshooting procedures.” Again, not very specific.

United issued an apology for foul-up, stating that it is working with affected customers to accommodate their travel needs. A waiver policy was also issues that will allow passengers to cancel or rebook their flights with none of the usual penalties applied. The question of what exactly happened still remains, but at least the airline is seeing to the needs of its customers.

The computer issue reportedly disrupted United’s system for scheduling departures, reservations and passenger processing. One flyer told CNN that his plane’s pilot told passengers that the equipment “had lost contact with the company computer system which measured the weight of the plane.”

Given the recent state of things, it’s impossible to look at this situation and not immediately peg it to a network intrusion. For all we know, United is still working on tracking down the cause of the disruption. If it turns out that any customer data was illegally accessed, you can expect we’ll be hearing more details soon.

Either way though, with network security seemingly failing across the entire Internet these days, it behooves United to offer its customers a little more detail. Whenever there are details to share, that is. There’s a reason many of us are going to look at this news and immediately think “hackers again.” Hopefully the company will remember that.