Topic of the Week: American’s Tech Problems

American had a big mess on its hands this week when the link with Sabre went down and it had to stop flights from departing. Did any of you get stuck in this? What’s your story?

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17 Comments on "Topic of the Week: American’s Tech Problems"

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David
Guest

Finding out *why* the system went down to such an extent would be *very* interesting. Alas being a big corporation I very much doubt this information would leak out to the public domain…

JRS
Guest

Could this be a prelude to problems developing after the AA-US Airways merger?

ZO
Guest

it has been reported elsewhere that it was a communications / networking issue. These things happen, so let’s not all get in a tizzy

David SF eastbay
Member

It was all an in-house issue since other companies using Sabre were not effected so AA will be hiding the real issue of their problems such as lack of money for equipment maintance/replacement, grumpy IT employees, etc.

Nick Barnard
Member

Recently airlines (CO and US come to mind.) have reported the Reason for the Outage of their internal outages such as this. If AA wants to gain credibility they will report that. Maya Leibman likely will push for this to be reported, as well as detailing what changes they have made to prevent this.

While I mentioned her, I just read Maya’s bio, she is an Awesome person. I hope she stays with the new AA.

Trent880
Guest

Gmail was down the next day in the morning and I don’t think anyone self-immolated. This stuff happens.

Nick Barnard
Member

Gmail was only down for a 0.007% of their users, or a total of 29,750 people. Re: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/04/gmail-goes-down-for-small-number-of-users-usual-panic-follows/

American Airlines’s outage affected many many more people.

eccjeep
Member
As a Platinum AAdvantage member who was already on my way to ORD when the system went down, I was curious as to how this was going to play out. When I arrived to check my bag, the kiosks were down. I was then directed to the counter (strangely, not many people in the check-in lobby), and the agent prepared a bag tag like in the olden days (paper bag tags and literally adding my information by hand to a bag check-in list). Since they could not print boarding passes, I guess I was lucky that I already had one… Read more »
Million Miler
Guest
I had a similar experience. I am guessing you had already checked in at home or via mobile device before arriving at the airport. I did not check in from home and when I arrived at DFW everything appeared outwardly normal. I could not check in at the Kiosk – it displayed an error message – and was directed to the counter. There were 3 people in line ahead of me in the First Class line for the counter. They called me up to the counter and explained the problem. If I had a boarding pass, they would manually write… Read more »
Bob Grennell
Guest
Outages such as this one have occurred before, and inevitably will occur again. There is no reason to continue to whip this subject up. I worked for a major airline (not AA) for more than 25 years, and was deeply involved in the initial automation of reservations, ticketing and flight operations. Cranky should have been around then, although one could easily revert to manual processes if needed. I question his motives toward AA when he cites his worst flight segment as being on AA from ORD-LAX, on which he was given a courtesy upgrade to First, but lacked the electronic… Read more »
kelty
Member

Big companies usually have back-up systems, but theirs apparently did not work. It will be interesting if we can learn what failed, and what the implications are for other large computer networks.

MathFox
Guest
Well Ed, I expect that AA has redundant lines and systems, but that the fall back did not work for some reason. There are several examples from practice where things went wrong. * The phone company sold two redundant glass fibers to the data center; unfortunately they were in the same conduit, so the back-hoe could tear them both in a single movement. * The life system and the hot standby run the same software version. One data request makes the first system crash (and automatically reboot.) The standby system detects the crash and jumps into action, to fall over… Read more »
danwriter1
Member

BNA-LGA Tuesday — delayed 90 minutes due to “suspicious package” at LGA that emptied the entire D terminal. Then 2 hours on the tarmac @ LGA waiting for a gate to open. None ever did and we taxied to hangar apron and were bussed to terminal. Half the trip lost due to some caffeine-addled TSA idiot and the other half attributable to AA systems F-up. PITA and AA gives us 7,500 miles. Make them elite qualifying and I’m satisfied.

Don
Guest

I’ll keep it short and sweet. JetBlue, Virgin America, (then) Continental all had computer issues at one point. AA is no different.

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