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FAA Briefly Grounds Alaska Airlines Flights After Computer Issue

The Federal Aviation Administration briefly grounded all Alaska Airlines mainline flights Wednesday morning after an issue with its computer system and how it calculates weights and balances. The ground stop was lifted at 8:32 a.m. Pacific time, but delays are likely to continue throughout the day.  

According to the FAA advisory, the ground stop was issued at 7:30 a.m. PT Wednesday for all Alaska Airlines flights and those operated by its sub-carrier Horizon Air. Horizon was allowed to resume operations a few minutes later while Alaska sub-carriers like SkyWest were permitted to operate as usual throughout.

 

Alaska Ground Stop FAA

 

The FAA alert did not cite a reason for the ground stop in its advisory. In a statement to Thrifty Traveler, Alaska Airlines said the issue occurred “while performing an upgrade to the system that calculates our weight and balance.” 

Alaska said it asked the FAA to issue the ground stop “out of an abundance of caution.” 

Flights have been released by Alaska Airlines and could be seen departing numerous airports just minutes after the ground stop lifted Wednesday. 

The airline told Thrifty Traveler that “residual delays are expected throughout the day,” as the carrier tries to catch up after the nearly hour-long ground stop. 

At last count, more than 80 Alaska flights were delayed out of Alaska's main hub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) following the ground stop, according to data from FlightAware. Other hubs like San Diego (SAN), Anchorage (ANC), Los Angeles (LAX), Portland (PDX), and San Francisco (SFO) also had over a dozen Alaska delays. No flights were canceled by Alaska Airlines as of publication. 

 

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