Airline travel and companies greatly depend on computers now, from air traffic control to navigation, in-flight controls, and even passenger bookings and management. Nothing happens manually these days. This makes it more efficient, but the problem is, the entire operation collapses whenever there is a computer problem. We have seen this happen time and again in the last six months with many airline companies.
The Chicago, Illinois-based United Continental Holdings (NYSE:UAL), which runs the United Airlines, was the latest airline business to be affected.
The domestic flights of United Airlines were grounded on Sunday after a computer outage, affecting thousands of passengers. The international flights of the business were not affected, though, according to a company release. United did not, however, reveal the total number of flights that were affected by this.
United Airlines Misses Deadline, Flights Resume Hours Later
The problem was reported early in the morning, affecting one flight after another. United responded by saying they are working on the problem, and all flights will be resumed as soon as possible. They said everything would run normally by 8 PM Eastern Time, but United later tweeted at 8:06 they were still “working on a resolution”. It was then extended to 9 PM ET by the Federal Aviation Administration. But United missed that deadline too. The operations could start once again only around 9.30 PM.
Officials revealed that there were low bandwidth issues with the ACARS or the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, which was causing the problem.
Maddie King, the spokeswoman, just issued an email statement saying there were “IT issues”, without explaining any further adding, “We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers. We are working as quickly as possible to resolve this issue and get our customers to their final destinations”.
Computer Problems Affecting Airline Time And Again
In fact, not just United Airlines (NYSE:UAL), many other airline companies had glitches in 2016. Last October too, United had to delay a number of their flights because of an issue with their weight reporting system. This halted their departures temporarily. It was a more serious issue, as the incident affected both the domestic and international flights of United.
Earlier, in June, software used in dispatching their flight plans lost its functionality, and a month later, there was another computer problem which prevented accessing the reservations records. Some analysts had blamed Sabre Corp of Texas that makes software for these incidents, which the company denies.