How dependent are we on technology in this world? Apparently the answer is “completely” in the world of the airlines. Late last night United Airlines was forced to ground their planes due to “a network connectivity issue,” and the Associated Press is reporting that the outage lasted roughly five hours with services starting to be restored after midnight.
United Airlines has yet to disclose the scope of the outage, but over 2,500 passengers were affected at Los Angeles International Airport. According to one passenger there were no flights listed on any of the monitors and despite hundreds of kiosks not one of them was working. The most common complaint, however, seems to be the lack of communication. While anyone can understand that computer systems can occasionally fail, it’s how a company handles the aftermath that separates it from the competitors. Unfortunately for United Airlines, it seems that their employees were left in the dark as well since passengers were waiting hours for bags that never showed up and nobody knew what to do. One of the passengers was quoted as saying, “"Some people were sleeping and some people were getting very angry because no one was giving us any answers.”
A more detailed report of the network error will probably not be disclosed to the press.