Fiber Cut Takes Down Sprint and Alaska Airlines
A fiber cut in Wisconsin this morning took down Sprint’s data network for a good part of the northwest and has caused havoc for American Airlines at a number of airports. The network outage has affected computer systems for Alaska Airlines that relies on the network for check-in, ticketing, and Internet access causing major delays and threatening flight cancellations.
Sprint crews have identified the issue and are working diligently to provide a fix but no ETA’s or other information have been provided. It has been reported that Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington are affected areas but it is not clear how widespread the affect of the fiber cut has been.
The outage speaks to the importance of failover Internet solutions for companies such as Alaskan Airlines. Considering the possibility for outages and the cost of delays/cancellations the cost of a backup solution would most likely pay for itself in a single incident. Alaska Airlines has provided additional information regarding the outage.
The following information was posted to American Airlines website
We sincerely apologize to our customers who are traveling this morning and that have been impacted by a network outage. We are working as quickly as we can to have network access restored for our computer systems. Below is an exception policy for changes to reservations:
Alaska Airlines is providing the following options to reschedule or rebook flights without incurring the standard change fees for all passengers ticketed through October 8, 2012. All rescheduled travel may be subject to higher fares. As soon as our systems are back up, you will be able to make changes to your reservations. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Flights must be changed prior to the originally scheduled departure date.
Details on the network outage:
- At 7:30 a.m. PST, Sprint, Alaska Airlines’ Internet provider, went down after a fiber network cable was cut in Wisconsin. Sprint provides the airline with connectivity to SABRE, the system used for reservations, check-in and to purchase tickets. The outage is preventing customers from checking in and has caused significant system wide delays in all cities Alaska Airlines serves.
- Alaska Airlines has implemented a manual process to check-in customers, however, this process will be slow and flights will depart late. If this problem persists, we will most likely cancel flights early this afternoon. No flights have been canceled yet (10 a.m.)
- Alaska IT specialists are working to partially restore a connection to SABRE.