United has had quite a few problems with its computer systems since integration to the ones Continental used on March this year.
I was checking my account earlier today at a time when there was a message that the online system is down but that the phone would be able to help. I happened to be at the Guarulhos airport in Sao Paulo and few meters from the United’s ticketing desk.
Apparently the airport systems were down as well but getting up at the time. At least for the domestic flights, United can just simply use “pen and paper” to check customers in. This doesn’t, however, work for international flights where United is required to transit the passenger manifest to US authorities certain number of minutes before the flight is scheduled to depart for clearance. This must have led to significant delays.
Now the fun part!
There was the above conversation on Twitter between a fake Jeff Smisek and AA’s Twitter team that gave me a good laugh.