Mon, Aug 13th 2007 11:46am
It was an all too familiar scene at Los Angeles International Airport this weekend, as a computer glitch temporarily left 20,000 passengers stranded. This summer has seen a bevy of glitches and delays, as the civil aviation infrastructure gets stretched to the breaking point. This time, the failure was not on the part of the airlines, but on the US Customs service, which prevented passengers from properly getting screened. Obviously, glitches are going to happen now and then, and so it's not a realistic solution to simply eliminate them. But seeing as every minor ripple ends up creating such a calamity, costing millions in lost time and profits, a greater emphasis needs to be placed on developing systems that fail gracefully.