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Computer glitch grounds two airlines

Hundreds of flights delayed nationwide for hours because of an "internal technology problem."

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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A computer glitch was blamed for the nationwide grounding of American Airlines and US Airways flights on Sunday morning, causing delays that were expected to last all day.

US Airways' flight-operation database malfunctioned because of an "internal technology problem," spokeswoman Amy Kudwa told the Associated Press. A similar problem affected American Airlines' flight-plan system, grounding about 150 flights, spokesman John Hotard said.

Both airlines use a computer system created by Plano, Texas-based Electronic Data Systems. An EDS representative said an "extensive internal evaluation" was under way to determine what happened.

"Right now, we can confirm that there was a system issue," EDS spokesman Jeff Baum said. "It was taken offline for about three hours to remediate."

American Airlines had its planes back up after two hours, while US Airways flights were grounded for about three hours.

The technical problem forced US Airways to delay about 100 flights. American Airlines planned to run its full daily schedule of 2,400 flights, but delays were expected.