Chaos as FAA grounds all Alaska Airlines flights due to problem with weight calculation system then lifts it an hour later

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • The airline reported an issue with a system that calculates weight and balance
  • The FAA ordered a ground stop for all Alaska and Horizon flights 

A one-hour ground stop on all Alaska Airlines flights has sparked travel chaos on Wednesday, delaying its entire fleet and spreading travel fears among passengers.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop advisory for the airline at around 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time, writing: ‘All Alaska mainline and subcarrier flights ground stopped.’

While the agency declined to provide a reason for the advisory, Alaska Airlines reported encountering a problem while updating software.

‘This morning we experienced an issue while performing an upgrade to the system that calculates our weight and balance,’ the airlines said in a statement to DailyMail.com.

‘A ground stop for all Alaska and Horizon flights was instituted at approximately 7:30am PT. The issue was mitigated and the ground stop for Alaska and Horizon flights expired at 8:30am PT.’

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounded all Alaska Airlines flights Wednesday (file photo)

According to the airline, the issue stemmed from a software update to a weight- and balance-calculating system on the planes

According to the airline, the issue stemmed from a software update to a weight- and balance-calculating system on the planes

Alaska confirmed that the advisory was lifted at 8:30 Pacific Time, but delays were expected to last throughout the day (file photo)

Alaska confirmed that the advisory was lifted at 8:30 Pacific Time, but delays were expected to last throughout the day (file photo)

The airline confirmed that it had begun to release flights, though residual delays were anticipated throughout the day. 

Flights for SkyWest and Horizon, which provide regional service for Alaska Airlines, were excluded from the ground stop.

Customers took to social media to rail against the unexpected service interruptions. 

‘Crew on plane; you can deplane, just stay close by the gate. Gate crew: you can’t get off the plane. Back and forth,’ one woman wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

‘Everyone has walked talkies yet 0 communication between plane and gate. We reboard and pilot tells passenger “you can go get coffee.”‘

Another man tagged the airline, demanding they provide a reason for the delays.

‘I’ve been sitting in this airplane for 2 hours! Was supposed to be a 3 hours flight,’ he wrote. ‘@SpiritAirlines sounds better right about now.’

Furious customers took to social media to air their frustrations about the unexpected delays

Furious customers took to social media to air their frustrations about the unexpected delays

One man proclaimed, '@SpiritAirlines sounds better right about now'

One man proclaimed, ‘@SpiritAirlines sounds better right about now’

A Texas woman claimed her flight had been sitting on the tarmac for nearly three hours, even after the advisory had been lifted

A Texas woman claimed her flight had been sitting on the tarmac for nearly three hours, even after the advisory had been lifted

Another passenger reported that her flight had been sitting on the tarmac at a Texas airport for nearly three hours, even after the advisory had been lifted.

‘Was supposed to leave at 8:30am (CDT) and we are still sitting on our plane at 11:06am,’ she wrote.

Alaska’s fleet of 314 planes is comprised of 231 Boeing 737 aircrafts and 83 Embraer 175 aircrafts. 

Earlier this year, the airline was forced to cancel thousands of flights after a door plug on a 737 Max 9 blew off shortly after liftoff from Portland, Oregon.

Following a thorough inspection, the crafts were cleared to resume flying. Boeing shelled out $160 million earlier this month to make up for losses the airline had suffered. 

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