MaxFacts: UNITED Delays & Reactions.

United Airlines Computer Glitches Delay Flights, Infuriate Flyers

1 Like

Didn’t United experience a similar situation just months prior?

1 Like

This also happened to Delta a couple months back as well.


Airline computer systems are terrible. They’re essentially old mainframes dating back to the 70s and 80s. It’s really telling when airlines are now he largest purchaser of dot matrix printers and associated supplies in the world.


I don’t want to know the cost of upgrading an entire infrastructure, but surely one can accomplish this in stages. I have the most sympathy for the United employees. Their schedules and family lives are screwed up as well, on top of having to deal with the angry passengers. When our Delta flight was cancelled due to their power outage we stood in line for 8.5 hours. I ended up letting a Navy aviator go ahead of me in line, he was going home on leave prior to an 18 month deployment. When we got to the ticket agent I told her that I knew it wasn’t her fault and politely asked when could she get us home. Just being positive and cooperative earned us actual booked seats rather than standby seats. At our connecting flight on the second leg the gate agent called our names before the Delta Priority people, we were on the plane first out of everyone.


All of the systems talk to each other, so if you’re revamping one part of the system, you’re revamping the whole thing. Not only that, since all the booking systems are all interconnected through the GDS, everyone still has to stick to the GDS standard when they build their systems. If they don’t stick to the GDS standard, they are going to struggle with being ticketed through travel agents. New code and old code is like oil and water, they don’t mix. There is very little incentive for airlines to collectively update their systems, and the global GDS distributors will probably throw up a stink as well if they’re also forced to revamp their systems. My travel agent friend’s interface still looks essentially like this:


That looks like the MS DOS based program called Reynolds & Reynolds that I use at work. Most unfortunate for them. You have a very good point about upgrading, if you do one you’ll have to do all of them. I imagine that that’s probably why they’re still on this system.

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.