Southwest, Virgin America, JetBlue Say Online Bookings Restored

  • Airlines faced technical difficulty with Sabre computer system
  • Disruption was latest in a string that’s plagued U.S. airlines

Customers of Southwest Airlines Co., JetBlue Airways Corp. and Virgin America Inc. can resume online flight bookings after technical difficulties with Sabre Corp. computer systems prevented reservations from being made on their websites.

“The technical issue that impacted some of our airline and travel agent customers has been resolved and our partners and subscribers are reporting that systems are back up and in recovery mode,” Andrea Huguely, a spokeswoman for Sabre, a technology services provider to the travel industry, said in an e-mail Monday.

Southwest is “cautiously optimistic” that the solution put in place by Sabre has resolved the issue, the carrier said in an e-mailed comment. Virgin America said in a Twitter post that its reservation system has been restored. JetBlue said in an e-mail that Sabre has resolved the matter.

Monday’s glitch adds to a series of technical disruptions that have plagued U.S. carriers this year. A computer failure at Delta Air Lines Inc. in August caused 2,300 flight cancellations and reduced pretax income by about $150 million. Southwest struggled in July after a router and its backup system failed, crashing the carrier’s computer systems. While those computers were restored about 12 hours later, flight cancellations and delays continued for several days as Southwest attempted to get crews and planes in the right locations.

Sabre, based in Southlake, Texas, provides a variety of technology services and software for airlines that range from reservations to flight schedules.

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