PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Alaska Airline travelers across the country including the desert felt the effects of a wide spread computer glitch. The computer problem stemmed from a data outage in the Midwest.
UPDATE TUESDAY MORNING:
Alaska Airlines says flights are running close to normal after a fiber-optic outage temporarily shut down its ticketing system, causing the airline and its regional carrier to cancel 78 flights, affecting nearly 7,000 customers.
More than 130 other flights departed, but some were delayed up to four hours.
Spokeswoman Marianne Lindsey says the airline doesn't anticipate any problems today.
The cities most affected were Portland; Seattle; Los Angeles; Anchorage and the San Francisco area.
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES:
The computer problem which started early Monday morning, affected the airline's ability to access their ticket system. The glitch prompted delays at all of Alaska Air's flights, including in Palm Springs, drawing unrest from travelers. "If we can't get home, it's a big deal, because I need to be back at work tomorrow," said Phil Bonderud, who was trying to fly home to Seattle. "So yes it would be a big deal if we can't make it."
The glitch also may have created communication issues for the airline. Bonderud checked in for his flight when desk agents put in his reservation manually. Shortly after, he received an e-mail from Alaska Airlines saying his flight had been cancelled. It only added to his frustration. "I don't know if the flight's going to take off or if we're going to be sitting at the gate," said Bonderud. "I'm glad we didn't check any bags. I don't know, it's kind of disconcerting."
Despite the delays and possible cancellations, many of the travelers said they'd rather spend their time at a smaller airport like Palm Springs, than at a major hub for the airline, like Seattle-Tacoma. "I'm really glad we're not there, because when we left SEA-TAC coming down here, there were enough lines then, and there wasn't a particular delay," said Madalyn Seaman, who was heading home to Seattle. "Alaska's big up there."
Bonderud shared her sentiment. "That would be a lot more problematic I think, than from this airport, this small airport in this nice environment so I think those people probably suffer more," said Bonderud.