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United Passengers Stranded At SFO, Nationwide Due To Glitch

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A United Airlines 757 in flight after takeoff from San Francisco International Airport. (AP file photo)

A United Airlines 757 in flight after takeoff from San Francisco International Airport. (AP file photo)

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SAN FRANCISCO INT’L AIRPORT (CBS SF) — Hundreds of passengers are stranded at San Francisco International Airport—and many more at airports nationwide—because of a United Airlines computer glitch that is preventing the airline from checking baggage.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Lines to gain information at the airline’s counter are several hundred people deep at SFO Friday night, according to Bryan Carmody, a communications director for United Service Organization of Northern California.

Between the USO’s centers at San Francisco and San Jose, at least 40 military people and their families are stranded because of the baggage-check meltdown, Carmody said.

Part of the problem, Carmody said, is that passengers cannot pass through airport security with anything larger than carry-on luggage and personal items.

“If you have a regular suitcase, you cannot get through security, and they have no way of checking bags,” he said.

A representative from United Airlines did not immediately return calls for comment Friday evening.

Despite word that four United flights would be departing—two to Honolulu, one to Las Vegas and one to Orlando—Carmody said that the USO was working to assist the families during the delays.

“We’re helping out families with travel arrangements, food, beverages, email, phones,” he said.

United operates flights out of all three of the Bay Area’s major airports—San Francisco International Airport, San Jose Mineta International Airport, and Oakland International Airport.

A duty manager at Oakland International Airport said no flights there were affected Friday evening. At San Jose International Airport, Vicki Day, director of customer services, said one flight had been delayed for an hour but there were no more United departures expected Friday night.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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