Cable Cut in Midwest Hobbles Alaska Airlines

If you’re sitting in a terminal at Seattle-Tacoma Airport hoping to board a flight, you’re probably not concerned with the health of fiber optic cable in the midwest.  But in an incident that underscores the sometime unlikely ripples from local events, a fiber cut on a Sprint cable in Wisconsin severed Alaska Airlines’ connection to Sabre, the system the airline uses for reservations and ticketing. The outage is preventing customers from checking in for flights and is causing delays systemwide, Alaskan Air said on its Facebook page.

“We sincerely apologize to our customers who are traveling this morning and that have been impacted by a network outage,” the airline said. “We are working as quickly as we can to have network access restored for our computer systems. We have implemented a manual process to check-in customers, however, this process will be slow and flights will depart late. Alaska IT specialists are working to partially restore a connection to Sabre.”

Sprint acknowledges that its services are affected by a fiber cut, but offers different details. “Due to a fiber cut in the Pacific northwest, you may have issues making or receiving calls, or accessing data services if you are in the Minnesota, Washington, or Oregon areas,” Sprint told TechCrunch. “The issue has been identified and crews are working diligently to correct the problem. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. ”

So which is right? Both, according to reports on a mailing list for network operators, which cites accounts from Sprint of fiber cuts near Portland, Oregon and Kenosha, Wisconsin.



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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. Last year they had a problem with VMWARE which took down their ticketing system, and now it is a data connetivity problem? Sounds like their internal IT doesn't understand the word "redunancy"? The cost of bandwidth continuing to drop ever year, how is it possible Alaska hasn't budgeted for redundant internet connections? You would think that Sabre is a core revenue generating system for their company? why not protect your customers and the dollars they pay you? Oh, and by the way, my wife is stuck in CA because of this .. I think southwest might be getting more of our MVP miles.. bummer..