American Airlines Flights Resume After Nationwide Ground Stop

Unknown number of flights impacted by outage

American Airlines and American Eagle resumed flights Thursday afternoon after a computer issue led to a ground stop earlier in the morning at three airports.

The airline said the cause of the outage was not immediately known, but after about two hours American Airlines flights were seen once again departing Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

"We have resolved connectivity issues that led to a ground stop today at our Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and Miami hubs. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to get our customers on their way as soon as possible," the airline said.

Casey Norton, airline spokesperson, said there was no indication the airline's computer system had been hacked.

Flights were first reported to be stopped at D/FW, Chicago O'Hare and Miami International Airport at about 11 a.m. after a problem with a computer system prevented passengers from checking online reservations and from checking into flights.

During the ground stop, flights headed to those three airports were held at their departure point until the computer issue was resolved at about 1 p.m.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the airline said: ;"We’re working to resolve technical issues impacting several airports as quickly as possible. We will provide updates and more information as they become available. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience."

Norton said six American Eagle flights in Chicago were canceled and about 300 American and Eagle flights were delayed by an average of slightly more than one hour. Tracking service FlightAware.com reported nearly 600 delays on American and more than 200 on Eagle operator Envoy Air by late afternoon, but Norton said many were unrelated to the computer issue.

The outage comes at an awkward time for American Airline Group Inc., the world's biggest airline. In less than a month, the company plans to complete combining the reservations systems of American and its US Airways subsidiary and retiring the US Airways brand.

Combining technology systems is a difficult feat that has tripped up other airlines, notably leading to several outages at United Airlines after it merged with Continental Airlines in 2010. United suffered two major outages this summer.

American has made meticulous plans to avoid a similar fate. Among other moves, it will reduce flights to lighten the load on its network while it combines the two reservations systems.

Associated Press airlines writer David Koenig contributed to this report.

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