State of the Airlines

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

NEWS: Computer Issues Delay United Airlines Flights

A 45 minute reservation system failure caused over 50 flights to be delayed or impacted in some fashion on Monday morning. Flight delays ranged up to 70 minutes and most of the effected flights were in Chicago or Denver. Well that's nice...With all of the attention given to labors unions, cost cutting and bankruptcy we get a little reminder of the "other thing" that keeps the airlines flying....computers.

This computer problem was relatively benign compared to others that have grounded entire fleets. It stills serves as a reminder that airlines need to spend dollars to improve system reliability and to build in redundancy. This is a tough thing to sell right now...airlines have cost cutting on the brain...its all they can think about. But even a small computer problem can add up to big problems. Big costly problems. Sadly, most wait until these problems whack them upside the head before the react. In reality the decision made on these computer systems are every bit as important as trying to figure out how much to pay the people who fly the aircraft