Alaska Airlines flights grounded briefly due to system issue

Alaska Airlines experienced a nationwide ground stop on all its flights Wednesday morning after an issue arose with the system used to calculate weight and balance data for the carrier’s aircraft.

The Seattle-based airline requested the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to halt all Alaska Airlines and subsidiary Horizon Air departures around 7:50 AM PT (UTC-7) due to the technical problem occurring during a system upgrade, according to statements from the airline and the FAA.

The ground stop lasted for approximately one hour before the issue was resolved and the FAA lifted the order at 8:30 AM PT, allowing Alaska to begin resuming flights.

“This morning we experienced an issue while performing an upgrade to the system that calculates our weight and balance,” Alaska Airlines said. “Out of an abundance of caution, we requested a ground stop for all Alaska and Horizon flights.”

The airline warned that residual flight delays were expected throughout the day as operations returned to normal. Regional carrier SkyWest, which operates some flights for Alaska, was excluded from the ground stop.

The FAA confirmed in an advisory that Alaska had asked for the temporary nationwide ground stop of its mainline departures due to the technical issue. The agency did not provide additional details.

It’s unclear exactly how many Alaska flights were impacted by the brief grounding. The airline did not immediately respond to requests for more information, according to NBC News.

Passengers took to social media to voice frustrations over delays and cancellations caused by the system problem. Alaska said it was working to get operations back on track as quickly as possible.

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