Did Friday the 13th Cause United and JetBlue Computer Failures?


Two major U.S. airlines suffered from computer glitches Friday morning. United Continental’s (NYSE:UAL) website mistakenly allowed customers to book cross-country flights for less than $10, and JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) experienced a computer system failure that will delay flights throughout the day.

United’s online reservation system experienced a glitch that allowed passengers to book flights for as little as $2.50. The site handed out super-cheap flights for two hours Thursday, and now the airline is left to determine if it should honor those prices. According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, a flight from Washington, D.C., to Austin, Texas, sold for $2.50; a flight from New York to Houston sold for $5 during the two-hour period.

United shut down the site when it realized what was going on, and a spokeswoman told the Times that the company has yet to decide if it will honor the prices. Lucky recipients of the cheap flights have taken to Twitter, saying they hope the airline will let the purchases stand.

Customers have also gone on Twitter to complain about JetBlue flight delays. According to NBC, one frustrated JetBlue customer tweeted: ”Please work faster. You’ve had 4 hours to get your tech people on this. Bring in the A team.” Another tweeted: ”Pilot was late and now can’t print paperwork. Are you kidding me?”

JetBlue responded to the customers via Twitter, saying: ”The computer programs are not working correctly. We’re working now to address it. All flights are delayed until it can be resolved.” JetBlue’s biggest terminal is the John F. Kennedy airport in New York City. About a third of the carrier’s flights from that airport experienced delays that lasted an average of 90 minutes, NBC reports.

Anders Lindstrom, a spokesman for the carrier, told Bloomberg that the company is currently unsure how many flights will be delayed or how long those delays will be. “JetBlue experienced an IT system outage early this morning that has created delays in the system,” Lindstrom said to the publication. “The system is now up and running and we are slowly returning to normal service.”

The two incidents are unrelated, and could just be chalked up to some bad luck on Friday the 13th.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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