For some travelers flying United airlines yesterday, it must have felt like Deja Vu, that feeling that you've been here before. For at least the third time in memory since the merger with Continental Airlines their passenger reservation system failed. This failure resulted in delays and missed connections because no one could check in for their flights and agents were basically blinded without access to the reservation systems.
In an era of backups and redundancy, one has to wonder to what degree United, or any airline, actually has redundency, not only of the passenger record information, but of their entire system so a fully mirrored backup is available. While it was nice that the airline didn't charge for cancelling or changing a flight, this kind of inconvenience at the height of the summer travel season can wreck people's lives. Many children are returning to college and going home with schools starting up this week. Business people who have meetings and appointments get put off track, and what's worse because planes can be put out of position for the next day, the cancelations mean passengers may not even have arrived to their destinations yet. This gives a whole new meaning to being "delayed."
This is also making me think about all the suppliers my business is working with, and desire to understand what redundency efforts they have in place, and what we may need in ours.