Oh poor American Airlines. It seems it just can’t seem to catch a break. The bankrupt air carrier was forced to cancel all its flights for hours today due to problems reaching its reservation system. In a tweet it initially blamed another reservation and booking tool, Sabre, for going offline.
Though there was no press release providing any background, from the timeline on Twitter, it seems the problem began around 9 am PT on Tuesday, 16 April 2013. Approximately four hours later, American posted this tweet: “Our systems have been fully restored, however we expect continued delays & cancellations.”
A further clarification was posted to the carrier’s Facebook page:
UPDATE as of 3:30pm CDT: Our systems have been fully restored, however we expect continued flight delays and cancellations throughout the remainder of the day. We have made several options available to our customers:
If customers must travel today and are already at the airport, they can rebook on another airline by visiting an American Airlines agent or by going to the other airline’s ticket counter with their electronic ticket number.
If customers must travel today and are not yet at the airport, they can rebook through American Airlines reservations or through another carrier and American will honor the fare difference.
If a customer chooses not to travel today, there will be no charge for reservation changes or a full refund will be provided.
It is important to note we see no evidence that today’s technical outage is related to the tragic events in Boston.
We will continue to provide more information throughout the day as we make progress in resolving this issue. We apologize to our customers and our people for this inconvenience.
About four hours after that American Airlines Chairman and CEO Tom Horton, posted this Mea culpa to YouTube: