by Joseph Weisenthal

Filed Under:
aviation, glitch

Yet Another Computer Glitch Cripples Air Travel

from the too-long-without-one-of-those dept

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.

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  1. identicon
    Vincent Clement, 13 Aug 2007 @ 1:41pm

    "That system allows our officers to make decisions on who we can allow to enter the US"

    Why even have officers? Let the computer make the decision. Don't pass muster? The floor opens you up and fall down a tube to a room for a more rigorous interview ;)

    "Homeland Security officials blamed the malfunction on the fibre optic cables that support the system used to process international passengers"

    That would be a hardware glitch. So who severed the cables by 'accident'? Don't these people know anything about backup systems and redundancy? Maybe we should let Google handle the hardware side.

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