Wed, Jun 21, 2006
When Upgrades Go Wrong
The idea was to improve the reservation and airport check-in
software for AirTran. But like the Hal 2000 computer on board the
Jupiter-bound Discovery in Stanley Kubrick’s "2001: A Space
Oddessy," the AirTran system apparently developed a mind of its own
The problems that resulted caused massive delays for the
low-cost carrier well into Tuesday afternoon. Passengers stood in
long lines at AirTran’s hub in Atlanta, as well as at
airports in other cities around the country.
"This is an unfortunate situation for our customers and
certainly not what we anticipated," AirTran spokeswoman Judy
Graham-Weaver told Reuters.
"We apologize to our
customers for the inconvenience and appreciate their patience and
understanding," Graham-Weaver added. "Our crew members made every
effort to accommodate passengers as quickly as possible and used
manual processes to board flights. Our dispatch systems have not
been impacted at any time."
The upgrade was scheduled to take place from 2000 EDT Monday
until 0430 EDT Tuesday. But something went very wrong. No, life
support for hibernating astronauts wasn’t terminated... but
you can bet a lot of those stranded passengers were asleep on their
feet, waiting hours to get on their flights.
But look on the bright side. AirTran says the upgrades will
bring long-term benefits to its customers.
Daisy... Daisy... give me your answer, do...
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