Sprint outages ground Alaska Airlines flights

Oct 8 (Reuters) - An outage that cut phone and data service to Sprint customers in parts of California, Oregon and Washington also grounded some Alaska Airlines passengers on Monday as it knocked the air carrier's reservations system off line.

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

One was accidentally cut early Monday morning while maintenance work was being conducted on a railroad track between Chicago and Milwaukee, she said.

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

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

Alaska Airlines said on its Facebook page that it lost its connection to the Sabre reservations system, which it also uses to 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 in Boston; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

((jim.finkle@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 617-856-4344)(Reuters Messaging: jim.finkle.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.us))