Thousands of US Flights Grounded After Computer Outage at FAA

More than 8,000 flights were paused

Departure flight board with cancelation at the Airport.
IronHeart / Getty Images

Flights across the country were grounded in the early hours of Wednesday, Jan. 11, as airlines dealt with a computer outage at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

It was unclear how long the disruption would last, though FAA officials said they had begun to see progress in restoring services. The disruption's immediate cause is still unknown, said the administration. While some flights continued to take off, the delays were spread across several airlines, with at least 8,000 flights within, into, and out of the United States experiencing a pause, with more than 90 of those canceled—leaving travelers stuck in airports with little to no information on how long they would be grounded.

In a statement, United Airlines said it had temporarily delayed all domestic flights and would issue an update when it learned more from the FAA. American Airlines says the outage "impacts all airlines" and was "working with the FAA to minimize disruption to our operation and customers."

"FAA is working to resolve this issue swiftly and safely so that air traffic can resume normal operations, and will continue to provide updates," tweeted Pete Buttigieg, the secretary of transportation, who says he is in contact with the FAA over the outages.

The FAA ordered all airlines to temporarily pause all domestic flights until 9 a.m. Eastern time "to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information," but flights slowly began resuming on Wednesday afternoon.

The U.S.'s three major airlines—Delta, United, and American—all announced that they will waive fees for customers who need to change or cancel their flights after Wednesday's issues. If you are one of the many experiencing a delay, airports are advising passengers to check with their airlines for the latest flight information.