A Continental Airlines flight from Houston landed safely at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Neb., after the pilot reported losing cabin pressure.

The Embraer regional jet left George Bush Intercontinental Airport around 2:40 p.m. Thursday and was about 20 minutes from Omaha when it started having problems. The plane continued to Eppley, where it landed on time, around 4:45 p.m.

A spokeswoman for Houston-based Continental referred questions to Express Jet, which was contracted to operate Flight 2278.

Express Jet spokeswoman Kristy Nicholas said Friday that the plane's automatic pressurization system failed and oxygen masks were released for passengers' use. The three-person crew manually activated an emergency pressurization system.

Nicholas said the plane wouldn't have lost altitude in such a situation, but the 49 passengers on board likely felt popping in their ears. One woman suffered bleeding from her ears and was treated at the airport, she said.

Express Jet is investigating the cause of the problem.