Computer problem grounds many United Airlines flights in the U.S.

PUBLISHED Sun, January 22, 2017 - 7:35pm EST

United Airlines flights across the United States were grounded for hours as a result of a system-wide computer problem, causing delays at multiple airports, officials and passengers say. International and Express flights were not affected.

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The problems began just before 7 p.m. ET on Sunday when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a ground stop affecting many United departures to domestic destinations. Flights to Alaska, Hawaii, and international destinations, as well as those by United Express, were not affected.

"A ground stop is in place for domestic flights due to an IT issue. We’re working on a resolution. We apologize for the inconvenience," a United Airlines spokesperson said, providing no further details about the issue.

Just after 9 p.m. ET, United Airways said the cause of the ground stop had been resolved. "The ground stop has been lifted. We’re working to get flights on their way," the airline said. It did not say how long it would take to resume flights as normal.

United Airlines declined to provide specific information about the problems, but sources told CNN that the ACARS computer system had been hit by an outage. ACARS, which stands for the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, allows the transmission of short messages between planes and ground stations.

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