2 Sprint fiber optic cuts grounded Alaska Airlines

Associated Press
Jim McBarron, manager of station perations for Alaska Airlines, uses a bullhorn to try and find passengers for a flight that was about to take off for San Diego, Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, during a system-wide outage of the computers the airline uses to check in passengers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Most flights were delayed or canceled, but the airline was able to manually check in passengers for a few of its flights. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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SEATTLE (AP) — The computer problem that has cut off Alaska Airlines' ability to put passengers on planes was caused by a combination of two fiber optic cuts in the Sprint system.

Sprint spokeswoman Crystal Davis in Reston, Va., says one occurred at a construction site along railroad tracks between Chicago and Milwaukee, and the other was somewhere between Portland and Seattle.

If there had been only one disruption, the computer system would've been able to reroute the traffic. She says the failure Monday was caused by the combination of the two cuts. It also affected some other Sprint customers in parts of Washington, Oregon and California.

Davis hopes one fiber optic line will be fixed by 3 p.m. Pacific, which should put Alaska Airlines back in business.

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