American Airlines passengers wait in line to reschedule flights at O'Hare Airport on April 16, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Thousands of American Airlines travelers became stranded today when the airline was forced to ground all its flights after a nationwide problem with its computer systems.

American Airlines Grounds Flights Nationwide

Airline temporarily grounds fleet, says 'no evidence' computer issue related to Boston bombing.

American Airlines passengers wait in line to reschedule flights at O'Hare Airport on April 16, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Thousands of American Airlines travelers became stranded today when the airline was forced to ground all its flights after a nationwide problem with its computer systems.
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An apparent issue with American Airlines's reservation system led to the temporary grounding of all of its aircraft Tuesday afternoon.

A 4:30 p.m. EDT statement released by the company said, "Our systems have been fully restored, however we expect continued flight delays and cancellations throughout the remainder of the day."

The company offered options to inconvenienced customers, including transferring their tickets to other airlines.

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"It is important to note we see no evidence that today's technical outage is related to the tragic events in Boston," said the late afternoon statement. "We will continue to provide more information throughout the day as we make progress in resolving this issue."

The American Airlines Twitter feed said earlier in the day that its reservation system, Sabre, had gone down. The company later clarified "[t]he issue is w/ our ability to access our res system" and not with Sabre itself.

The decision to ground all American Airlines flights in the U.S. was announced on Twitter around 3 p.m. EDT.

"Any American plane sitting on the ground anywhere in the U.S." was affected, said FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford, The Associated Press reported early in the afternoon.

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American Airlines estimates that it transports 275,000 passengers a day.

According to the AP, industry watcher FlightAware predicted that 900 flights would be delayed if American Airlines resumed service at 5 p.m. EDT, causing an additional 800 flights to be delayed Tuesday night.

The debacle was greeted by annoyance by some passengers on social media.

"Your total fail as a company is giving me lots of time at the airport" to do work, one customer tweeted in a nuanced observation. "Three more hours on Tarmac?" asked another after the initial delay.

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