Passengers attempt to manually check in for an Alaska Airlines to Phoenix, Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle during a system-wide outage of the computers the airline uses to check in passengers. Some flights were able to be checked in manually, but most flights were delayed or canceled. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
SEATTLE - The computer problem that has cut off Alaska Airlines' ability to put passengers on planes was caused by a combination of two fiber optic cuts in the Sprint system.
Sprint spokeswoman Crystal Davis in Reston, Va., says one occurred at a construction site along railroad tracks between Chicago and Milwaukee, and the other was somewhere between Portland and Seattle.
If there had been only one disruption, the computer system would've been able to reroute the traffic. She says the failure Monday was caused by the combination of the two cuts. It also affected some other Sprint customers in parts of Washington, Oregon and California.
Davis hopes one fiber optic line will be fixed by 3 p.m. Pacific, which should put Alaska Airlines back in business.