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Virgin Australia website back up and running after Sabre outage

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 18, 2016

Virgin Australia was among several airlines unable to accept bookings on their respective websites for a number of hours on Tuesday morning (AEST) due to problems with Sabre’s Sabresonic reservation system.

In a message on its website on Tuesday morning that has since been removed, Virgin said it experienced a “temporary technical issue”.

A Virgin spokesperson confirmed in an emailed statement to Australian Aviation the outage was due to its Sabre booking system.

Further, the spokesperson said “guests travelling with Virgin Australia today are not impacted by the issue”.

Sabre Travel Network confirmed it was having problems with its reservation systems on Twitter.


“We apologise for the issue affecting our customers,” Sabre said at about 1030 AEST on Tuesday.

“Our teams are working very urgently towards a resolution and will provide updates as they arise.”

Some three hours later, at 1322 AEST, Sabre Travel Network said the issue had been resolved.


Asked on its Facebook page how many airlines were affected, Sabre Corporation said: “We don’t have a number to share right now but the issue is not affecting all customers.”

Indeed, American Airlines and Etihad Airways, for example, appeared able to accept bookings on their websites.

However, three US-based carriers – Jetblue, Virgin America and Southwest – confirmed they had been affected by the Sabre reservation outage.

“Our Sabre online reservation system is currently unavailable due to a nationwide outage also affecting other carriers,” Virgin America said on its website.

“This issue is affecting all guests attempting to book through our website and third parties, such as online travel agencies, as well as guests attempting to check in for flights, select seats and access flight status information. We appreciate your patience as Sabre works to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible.”

Southwest said on its website the technical difficulties means its passengers were unable to book new domestic flights or change existing reservations. International flights were not affected, while the airline’s airport operations were unaffected.

This was “due to an issue with a pricing ‘engine’ provided by Sabre”, Southwest said.

“We are working with Sabre to resolve the issue, but there is no estimated time provided for the issue to be resolved.”

Jetblue confirmed the outage on Twitter.

Jetblue, Southwest and Virgin America said later on Tuesday their reservation systems were also back up and running as normal.

Virgin Australia suffered major disruptions in August 2013 when its Sabre-based reservation system was offline for about two hours. The outage caused significant delays as Virgin was forced to manually check-in passengers at airports.

Virgin switched over to Sabre’s SabreSonic system for its bookings and passenger check-in in January 2013. The agreement was renewed in July 2015.

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Comment (1)

  • Brad


    I assume Sabre has SLAs with all of its airline customers and it has to compensate them for outages such as this.

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