Glitch delays flights

Most problems are felt on the East Coast. / span class='leadp'Computer failures in the nation's air-traffic control system Friday pushed back departures along the East Coast but did not cause noticeable flight delays at Tulsa International Airport, authorities said. /span/ "I don't think it's really affecting us at this point," Tulsa Airport Authority spokeswoman Alexis Higgins said in midafternoon.

/ The computer meltdown occurred sometime late Thursday or early Friday to an Atlanta system, according to Federal Aviation Administration reports. The agency then rerouted those functions to another computer in the Salt Lake City system, which overloaded due to the increased volume of data, the FAA said. / The domino effect apparently was felt hardest at airports in New York and Philadelphia. Reports said some delays lasted as long as three hours at New York's major airports. / At Tulsa International, however, the impact was barely perceptible, if at all, Higgins said. Only four flights were expected to have delays among 25 late-afternoon or evening flights listed on the airport's Web site. / Delta Air Lines is the one of the few carriers that connects Tulsa directly with Atlanta, she added. No delays were seen on the Web site's Delta schedule Friday afternoon. / Two of the four delays found online involved United Airlines flights to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. / "O'Hare delays are common, unfortunately," Higgins said. / Of the other delays, one was an American Airlines flight to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, while the other was on a Southwest Airlines flight to Houston's Hobby Airport. / During the busy summer travel season, Higgins advised, travelers should always check on their flights with their respective carrier. Tulsa International's Web site, a href='http://www.tulsaairports.com'www.tulsaairports.com , also offers flight information. / The FAA could not calculate the number of flight delays caused by the problem, which was made worse by bad weather in the eastern portion of the country. / Betsy Talton, a spokeswoman for Delta, said the Atlanta-based airline was experiencing delays of roughly two hours Friday in the Northeast, but she attributed the backlog to thunderstorms. / Linda Rutherford, a spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines, said the airline experienced delays on about 40 percent of its 3,300 daily flights -- most due to the air-traffic control problems. / /The Associated Press contributed to this report. / Rod Walton 581-8457 /a href='mailTo:rod.walton@tulsaworld.com 'rod.walton@tulsaworld.com /



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