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American Airlines resumes most flights

Problems linger, but 'operations returned to normal,' it claims

By David Koenig

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, April 17 2013 8:47 p.m. MDT

FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2013 file photio, Texas Gov. Rick Perry delivers the state of the state address in the house chambers at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Perry announced Wednesday, April 17, 2013, that he is heading to Illinois to recruit businesses to relocate to Texas. His office said he will spend one night in Chicago from April 23-24 meeting with business leaders in the biotechnology and financial industries. He made the announcement after purchasing $42,000 in radio advertising in the Chicago area. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Associated Press

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DALLAS — American Airlines resumed most flights Wednesday, a day after a massive technology failure forced the nation's third-largest carrier to ground all planes from coast to coast.

Some lingering problems remained. At midday, American and regional offshoot American Eagle had canceled more than 200 flights, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.com. But that was a huge improvement over Tuesday, when American and Eagle canceled nearly 1,000 flights and delayed another 1,100.

"Our operations returned to normal this morning," American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said.

Some of Wednesday's cancellations were because of bad weather in Chicago and a lack of crews and planes in the right places. The airline added five unscheduled flights to accommodate passengers stranded in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, Huguely said.

The company blamed the breakdown on a "software issue" that knocked out both primary and backup computer reservation systems, which are also used for everything from issuing boarding passes to determining how much fuel to pump into planes.

The failure affected nearly two-thirds of scheduled flights aboard American and American Eagle. And it was a public-relations nightmare for American, which is preparing to merge with US Airways to become the world's biggest carrier.

Passengers took to social media sites to criticize the airline, which for hours could only apologize and say that it was trying to fix the problem.

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