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United Airlines' computers crash land again

For at least the third time since June, United Airlines computers are even less effective than Citizens United.

He's not happy.
Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I haven't flown United Airlines of late, having heard a rumor or two about a touch of inefficiency in its computing joystick.

These rumors seem to have occasionally been based on fact.

For the third time since June, its computers have today lost their thrust.

As the Associated Press has it, there are currently thousands of passengers all around the world who are wondering if and when their scheduled United Airlines flight will take off.

Indeed, Lewis Franck,a journalist who would like to get from Newark to Miami for a fascinating NASCAR event, tweeted: "Does anyone have a Radio Shack computer or abacus to help @united get their system fixed? Hey @keselowski can u lend them your smart phone?"

United has been having a difficult time of it since uniting with Continental Airlines. Travel blogs such as Joe Brancatelli's JoeSentMe have been highly critical of United's seeming inability to get its computing act together.

Indeed, Brancatelli offered this measured headline in May, when United's systems became unsystematic: "Worst. Airline. Ever. Again."

A United spokesman told the AP that he was aware of the problems (how could he not be?), but initially there seemed to be no diagnosis and no timetable for recovery.

However, Reuters just reported that United claims it has found the mouse that crept into its mainframe in order to retrieve some cheese.

Naturally, I paraphrase about the mouse, but apparently flights are resuming.

It's normal for airlines to pad their flight times in order to attempt to achieve a semblance of on-time performance.

But perhaps some readers could pop along to United's computer HQ to give them a hand.

Thanksgiving is coming up, after all. There would be nothing worse than United not being able to re-unite families.