Sprint outages ground Alaska Airlines flights

Oct 8 (Reuters) - An outage that cut phone and data serviceto Sprint customers in parts of California, Oregon andWashington also grounded some Alaska Airlines passengers onMonday as it knocked the air carrier's reservations system offline.

Crystal Davis, a spokeswoman for Sprint Nextel Corp ,said the outages were caused by two cuts in the company's fiberoptic cable network.

One was accidentally cut early Monday morning whilemaintenance work was being conducted on a railroad track betweenChicago and Milwaukee, she said.

The company is still investigating the cause of the secondcut, which occurred between Tacoma, Washington and Portland,Oregon.

Davis said that fiber cuts are typically accidental, butthat sabotage had not been ruled out as the cause of the secondincident.

Alaska Airlines said on its Facebook page that it lost itsconnection to the Sabre reservations system, which it also usesto check customers in for flights.

The carrier, which is owned by Alaska Air Group Inc ,said on its website that it had canceled six flights.

(Reporting By Sinead Carew in New York and Jim Finkle inBoston; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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