A Perfect Storm Brews At Major Airlines

from the one-mishap dept

Technical malfunctions at the major airlines seem to be growing in frequency, as this week saw a computer glitch at United lead to major disruptions. Specifically, the culprit was a computer system that's supposed to calculate the weight of each flight before takeoff (via Today in the Sky). Once it went down, operations ground to a halt, per FAA regulations. It didn't help that the airline's entire computer system was completely centralized, as that prevented it from failing at all elegantly. Problems such as this one are also exacerbated by the lack of slack in the system right now, which guarantees that any mishap will lead to a catastrophic chain reaction. Between these two things, brittle IT systems and a shortage of good infrastructure, it seems increasingly likely that flying will remain painful for some time.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 4:28pm

    Bad day for aviation

    That story also comes on top of a flight from the Netherlands that had a "lavatory malfunction." Linkie

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Semicharm, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 9:42pm

    Stuck in a timewarp?

    Are they still using those ancient systems that they built in the 70's? Just curious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Ken Murray, Jun 23rd, 2007 @ 8:30am

    I'm living this nightmare now

    Hi, I fly every Monday to work and back home thursday evening. This week I had to drive home from NY and it took me 6 Hours. I'm telling you from the FAA Computers failing us (Even though billions in taxes go to have the best) to the United Computer Problems, to the Poor Inefficient operations of US Air, Air Travel is at it's worst. The 5:40 am flight on US Air can't even get out on time! Have you ever seen the pilots? They saunter like they have no hurry to get to their post. You and I are always scurring to get to work though!.. I really believe the government should let the airlines go bust because it can't get much worse. Maybe we'll end up with some decent company in it's place.

    I have a dream that some billionaire will start to open up private airports and save the masses like us from this hell!

    Thanks

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Stu, Jun 23rd, 2007 @ 8:42am

    Before deregulation (which the airlines wanted), everything worked pretty well, although prices were higher.

    Deregulation showed what lousy managers the airlines were - chaos for decades.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Rodney R Rollins, Jun 23rd, 2007 @ 5:33pm

    Ken Murray,
    Your dream is about to come true. The airline is Paladin Light Jet and for about the same cost as a first class ticket, you will get your own, for the day private jet. An entire plane for yourself and up to three friends. No more long security lines. No more baggage prestodigitation. Even fido can ride up front. No more TB gauntlets to run. help is coming. Don't buy into the "raise the taxes on corporate jets" scam the press has been hawking lately. Thats just the "megajetco's" boot lickers trying to keep our operating costs high. Pass the word, we're Paladin light jet, and Paladin is coming!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    OKVol, Jun 25th, 2007 @ 6:22am

    Re: Stuck in a timewarp?

    Yes, they are. IBM mainframes running TPF OS. Even worse, they are outsourcing operations. Sabre is now operated by EDS. Sabre's pride helped keep the system running. I just wonder how hard the hired hand works to protect the family jewels?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This