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Visitors hit a few bumps at United's Web site

After customers are unable to access the site in the morning, and many receive error messages later in the day, the giant airline says it is working to fix a "technical problem."

The Web site for United Airlines is in a holding pattern.

Attempts to reach the site this morning left customers shut out, but by this afternoon, the site offered visitors a travel-planning page from the Internet Travel Network (ITN), which developed United Airlines' site.

If customers tried to click on other pages within the site, they came across an unusual error message that read: "No, you did not make a mistake. We've redesigned our Web site. Unfortunately, the URL you requested is no longer valid. Visit us at http://www.ual.com/ to see our new site or, if you do nothing, we will redirect you to our site momentarily."

But following those directions led visitors back to the travel-planning page on ITN.

"It's a technical problem; we're working on it and we're going to try to get it fixed as soon as possible," company spokesman Joe Hopkins said late this afternoon. The site has been malfunctioning since "sometime this morning," he said

Hopkins said customers who wish to check the status of a flight, a popular activity on the site, should call 1-800-824-6200.