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Alaska Airlines computer connection restored after fiber optic lines severed

SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines has fixed the computer problem that delayed flights Monday across its 64-airport network on the West Coast and in Mexico and Canada, and operations slowly were returning to normal.

The problem was caused by a severed fiber optic line that cut the Seattle-based airline's connection to its ticketing system at 7:40 a.m.

Lines of frustrated passengers grew at the airline's Sea-Tac hub and at other airports as the company was unable to put passengers on planes, except by handwritten paperwork.

Alaska Airlines said the data connection was restored before 1 p.m. but passengers could still expect some delays as the system adjusted.

The problem was caused by a combination of two fiber optic cuts in the Sprint system. One occurred at a construction site along railroad tracks between Chicago and Milwaukee and the other was somewhere between Portland and Seattle, said Sprint spokeswoman Crystal Davis in Reston, Va.


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