SEATTLE, Oct. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A Sprint fiber network cable severed in the Seattle area significantly delayed Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air flights today. Sprint provides the airlines with connectivity to SABRE, the system the carriers use for reservations, to check in passengers and to purchase tickets.
Sprint internet service was disrupted at 7:30 a.m. and was restored about noon.
As of noon, the two airlines had canceled 70 flights, affecting more than 6,000 passengers. More than 130 flights had departed, some up to four hours late.
Alaska and Horizon plan to pre-cancel some flights scheduled to depart between 2 and 5 p.m. today Pacific time to help return their operation to normal. A complete list of those pre-cancellations will be posted at alaskaair.com .Passengers traveling today are urged to check the status of their flight at alaskaair.com, Alaska's mobile website, or by using Alaska's mobile apps for the iPhone and Android. Customers can also call 1-800-ALASKAAIR (1-800-252-7522) before leaving for the airport. Customers traveling Oct. 8 or 9 can change their ticket or request a refund by Oct. 9 and reschedule their travel through Oct. 22 without incurring any change fees. Full details are available on alaskaair.com. Customers whose travel plans were disrupted are also advised to contact Alaska Airlines' Customer Care team at http://bit.ly/RLRhxB for compensation. For people who do not have access to the Web, please call Customer Care directly at 1-800-654-5669. More details are available at www.alaskaair.com . "We apologize for this disruption to our customers," Alaska Airlines President and CEO Brad Tilden said. "We've been working aggressively with Sprint and SABRE to get our operations back to normal as quickly as possible and will maintain our efforts until we get all of our customers where they need to go." Alaska IT specialists worked with Sprint and SABRE throughout the morning to find an alternative way to restore a connection that would allow customers to check in. In the meantime, Alaska implemented a manual process to check in passengers, however, the process was very slow. Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves 95 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction Study(SM) for five consecutive years from 2008 to 2012. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom. SOURCE Alaska Air Group