United Airlines Massive Computer Crash Leads To Handwritten Boarding Passes
from the so-retro dept
Hopefully, you weren’t flying United Airlines yesterday. As you may have heard, the company had a massive computer crash, which caused chaos at many airports. These kinds of things aren’t new, but this one did seem quite impressive in terms of how much it impacted. Still, what interests me is that the airline sought to deal with no computers by handwriting boarding passes, some of which people started photographing and putting on Twitter.
Moira Forbes got one that at least looked kinda sorta like a normal boarding pass, done on a boarding pass blank:
But what fascinates me about this is how people figure out how to cope when computer systems go down. Every so often we have these fear mongering stories about computer crashes, and we learn about how the Y2K bug could lead to the end of society or some computer hackers could create havoc by attacking key computers. And while there are computers that run some critical systems, even in situations like this — where the computers are incredibly important — when they go down it may create a major pain in the ass for some, but it’s not the end of the world. People figure out ways to cope and to use alternative systems, such as handwriting boarding passes. It’s not perfect, and there were plenty of people who didn’t get to fly at all, but it’s not like civilization broke down. Computer systems fail, people deal with it, and everyone gets on with their lives.