United Airlines resumes flights, recovering from network connectivity issues

Passengers were unable to check in for flights or print boarding passes

A United Airlines Boeing 747 at San Francisco International Airport on May 21, 2015

A United Airlines Boeing 747 at San Francisco International Airport on May 21, 2015

United Airlines has resumed flights after a computer glitch forced the carrier to ground its planes Wednesday morning.

In an emailed statement, the carrier said it's restoring flight operations and recovering from "network connectivity issues," without providing further details on the problem.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ended a ground stop for mainline United flights at approximately 10 a.m. ET. The agency issued the ground stop, which prohibits flights from taking off, around 8:30 a.m. ET, saying "automation issues" were to blame. The agency didn't immediately reply to questions for more information on the issue. United's smaller, regional carriers were allowed to resume flights earlier, at 9:19 a.m. ET.

The computer problem prevented United from checking in passengers and printing boarding passes and luggage tags. United hasn't said how many travelers were affected or how many flights were delayed. Given that United is one of the world's largest airlines, the travel delays could be significant. The airline flies to 235 U.S. airports and operates hubs in seven U.S. cities, according to its website. The glitch didn't affect flights that were already in the air.

Due to the connectivity issue, United is allowing passengers to reschedule their flights without having to pay a fee to change their tickets.

In June, an issue with United's computer system caused the carrier to ground all U.S. flights for around 30 minutes.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

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