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Airline Software Glitch Leads To Worldwide Delays

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Travelers around the world are facing delays today after a glitch in a computer system used by many airlines put a kink in usual operations.

Amadeus IT Group SA confirmed on Thursday that a “network issue” in its Altea booking system — which handles flight reservations — caused a disruption to some of its systems.

“Amadeus technical teams took immediate action to identify the cause of the issue and restore services as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement. “That action is ongoing with services gradually being restored. Amadeus regrets any inconvenience caused to customers.”

The company didn’t elaborate on how many of the 130 airlines that use Altea are affected.

However, Bloomberg reports that British Airways, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific Airways, and Qantas Airways were among those who experienced issues today.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in D.C. told Reuters that Southwest Airlines had a computer issue that prompted a few minor delays at Reagan National Airport, but no other problems had been reported yet.

Other airports around the globe have been chiming in with reports from the ground as well.

“A small number of airlines are experiencing problems across the world and we’re working closely with them to solve the issue,” a spokesperson for London’s Heathrow told the BBC. Meanwhile, Gatwick said there were “brief issues” but that things were back to normal.

Lufthansa and its partner airlines were also hit by the glitch for about 430 minutes this morning, said Frankfurt airport said on Twitter, preventing bags from getting checked in. Operations have since returned to normal.

A spokesman for Groupe ADP — a Paris-based airport operator — said that Air France and other airlines had flights affected by the technical issue at Charles de Gaulle airport.

“This was a worldwide failure (of the Amadeus system). We were no worse affected than other airports,” he told Reuters. “It only lasted a few minutes.”

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