Switch to Windows, crash your company

by Chris Adamson

Thousands of AirTran customers spent hours in line at Atlanta's airport and flights went out nearly empty due to a balky new computer system. Guess what OS it runs?


11 Comments


2006-06-22 04:10:15
Perhaps not surprising, since AirTran once merged with ValueJet...
MSchienle
2006-06-22 04:30:55
Thankfully, AirTrans is not ATA. The only reason that's significant to me is that ATA damaged a PowerMac G5 server I was replacing at a colocation place in May. FedEx packed it full of bubbles and peanuts, but the box couldn't protect the contents from something that sheared rivets and bent a handle on the case. Needless to say, ATA is not assuming any responsibility.
Chris Adamson
2006-06-22 04:35:21

Anonymous writes:
Perhaps not surprising, since AirTran once merged with ValueJet...


Oh boy, does that bring up bad memories. I worked at CNN Headline News at the time of the ValuJet crash in the Everglades, and as time went on, I thought we were patently unfair to them. Every time we did a story about ValuJet finances, or every time they had some minor everyday maintenance glitch, we'd roll video of the crash site, as if to suggest that poor maintenance led to the accident. But the cause of the accident was officially determined to be improperly-packaged and deliberately mislabeled oxygen generators in the baggage hold. They were, in effect, bombed by a shipper. Yet when I complained about how unfair (and plain wrong) we were being, one supervising producer said it was justified because the company mistreated its labor unions. And that's part of why I don't work for CNN anymore.

Gary W. Longsine
2006-06-22 19:43:13
Delta's reservation system doesn't run on Windows (or didn't last I knew) but the company has enough Windows systems around that they were in the news a year or two ago when they were hit by a worm so badly that they had to cancel their international flights for a day. You are not "safe" from Windows in any harbor.
Rick
2006-06-23 04:34:06
I am curious as to what old system they had? I assume it was not Apple.

2006-06-25 20:14:52
if it's the system level crash, then it's OS sin
but if it's the new software problem, like bad workflow, bad coding, ... I assume the new system has more features, and developed not well as the old ones..
Geni
2006-07-21 20:54:04
Airtran does not care about happy customers. Just experience a canceled flight with them. They do not care.
Jack
2006-08-12 18:20:33
They probably outsourced the switchover. Do some more investigation. ConAir had the same problem a few Christmas's ago when their reservation system went down. It wasn't due to Windows, it was due to outsourced labor that didn't know an int was only 2 bytes wide.
Margaret
2006-08-31 09:15:49
I worked at CRC Central Reservations Control. A top ten airline we also had the same issue on many programs. Tossed at the controlers to run the programs confirm they are working and the users are able to use the product. This is no surprise. This is common. Our company also found that the data enty for the agents being so long and complex. As seen in the Movie Meet the Parents, it does take the agent that long to pull up a reservation, get availablity for the final desination, as well as all connections and seats. If you dont have a seat assigned you do not have a seat on that flight. READ your ticket jacket or your airlines web site. Our system may fail do to our provider, may be just one airport, one computer, one sector, section. Gate work, ticket counter is down. I fix it. Or try. At the same time I am re-routing aircraft that are now closed to all airports, reservations, and internet users. I have one ship with mult flight on it need to change the tail number in the system. Enter seat configuration, re-seat the checked-in pax,crew,must rides,then reseat groups in the same reservation then all the singletons..for each flight on each ship. This list will have 10-18ships, each ship will have 3-9flights on it.
When completed we release the flight, un-restrict it. Opened and ready to go. One person doing this as well as many other critical operations at the same time. While your agent at the airport is on hold to advise me they are down. No systems. So time at the airport will happen. Your aircraft will be taken at times to fly to a new destination, with its crew if they have not timed out. The ship has its own sched. as well. Needs to be at point A,B,C. For maint. checks. Each check is diff, at diff locations, each ship has a date and time for check in check out. Each crew has a check in check out time. Your airport personal who all of the travlers LOVE to attack, abuse, yell, and yes at time send them to the hopital disabiled for life. They are the ones that will stay, work for with you,yes even when you yell what a piece of shit they are and how stupid and how much you hate them. They take the $7.50 an hour, rebook you, TRY to get a seat. TRUST ME they dont want to give you a new flight WITHOUT A SEAT. The last thing we want to say.
So the next time your gate, ticket counter person gets to advise you that I took your plan, moved your seats, took you off the flight curse me not them. No I dont come in each day and say who do we get to fuck with today, we look for the flights that get canceled and TRY to find seats with our flights or other ailines before we even decide. Again the aircraft and crew also have an interest in the final. Its not just take a dart and hit a city. We do our best to cause the least amount of discruction of your life as much as possible. Our POOR poor agents. They PAY, they get yelled, screamed,told they do not have a brain, "how did you find your way to work" thats always nice for me to hear when my agent is calling me for help. Waited because I have the flight she may be trying to rebooked restricted. She cant touch it. Her system may not be working on all the systems it carries. Yet they smile and rebook. Next time Please take a breath tell the agent you need time to breath talk to yourself let it out.. but not on the one and ONLY person that is working the impossible. Finding you a new flight with the same type of seat. Margaret OLE CRC for a top ten airline.
Margaret
2006-08-31 09:58:35
All systems go down. Shares, owned operated by EDS in Cal. They do electronic transfers of data, funds, information for many major industrys. Airlines are one of many. Mult airlines will use the same sysytem. Shares owned operated by EDS is used by Continentail, Mesa Airlines, Usairways, Northwest. Each airlines purch. its own product. Continentail has a better product than Usairways.. so if you like the people the flights work for you, give Airtran another try. Delta will have the same issues. Its a fact of life in the industry. How fast we can fix or how well trained your personal are at hand writting tickets and boarding passes is where you want to be. Usairways has a department dedicated to reroute passengers before the passenger even knows if they are lucky. They will rebook, reissue, issue new boarding passes, notifly ground ops to pull your bags for the new flight. If needed food and hotel ready before you land. This Tempe AZ airline is ahead of the game when it comes to taking care of its passengers. Errors will happen. Knowledge goes a long way ask questions, call reservations 800 number most will have the new data, you can print a boarding pass from your owm comp or pick up at gate or counter. Gate if your connecting so you wont go in and out of security if the airport is set up for connects. Ticket counter if you are starting your travels. They have a dedicated team that works hard to get you where you need to be in the fastest time possible. Even if we need to use another airline pay them to get you to your final.
Margaret
Andres
2006-09-04 15:45:26
Let's not blame it on the operating system. I don't particularly like Windows, but the blame should be placed on the software engineers and programmers. Any program, on any OS, is as good as the engineers and programmers who finally write it.