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United Airlines Passengers Stranded By Computer Outage

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the because-empty-planes-save-fuel dept.

Transportation 74

From reader Peter McDermott comes word of a computer outage with effects to dwarf those of the one that stranded thousands of US Airways passengers last week. This time, it's United Airlines' systems that are out of commission and unable to handle passenger reservations, leaving passengers stranded all over the U.S. According to Peter, experiencing the resultant delays first-hand at Dulles Airport near Washington, D.C., United planes are being sent on — along with their passengers' luggage — to the cities from which they're to leave tomorrow morning, in anticipation of the computer system being fixed in the interim.

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74 comments

United Idiots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483174)

United Airlines: a group of idiots is dumber than the dumbest idiot among them.

Re:United Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483988)

United Airlines - greyhound buses with wings.

Hard to make sense of that. (2)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483176)

Are the passengers getting their luggage shipped in the planes and not allowed to board or what's happening? As far as I know sending a plane with luggage for a passenger that hasn't boarded is against FAA rules.

Confusion...

Re:Hard to make sense of that. (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483184)

They'll pull your luggage if you don't get on the flight, but it's not a hard or fast rule. Your luggage can leave on an earlier flight, sometimes it will follow you on a later flight. They fuck stuff up all the time.

Re:Hard to make sense of that. (-1, Troll)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483336)

If septuagenarian "Elizabeth Johnson" misses her flight, they wont pull her bags. But if 32yr old "Ahmet Imadinerjacket" misses his flight, the bomb squad is called and his bags are imploded.

Re:Hard to make sense of that. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483528)

Citation? Also how do you implode a guys bags? If they are packed tight there shouldn't be much empty space in there. Exploding, on the other hand would probably work quite well.

Re:Hard to make sense of that. (2)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483642)

If a package cannot be moved, they place a thick steel dome over it, bolt it to the ground, and set off a charge inside the dome. Destroying anything inside said dome.

Or if they can move it, they use one of these specialized trailers: http://www.citizensassociationofpalmbeach.org/2008/Golf%20Tournament/2008-03-28_11.41/IMG_0324.JPG [citizensas...mbeach.org]

Re:Hard to make sense of that. (3, Interesting)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483598)

I wish.

My mom is 90 and an elite flyer on an airline she has taken nearly monthly for over a decade. If we book less than 24 hours in advance, she still gets flagged for special screening by TSA. The only thing that helps a little is that if it's full fare, as a disabled senior the carrier has to hold the flight for 15 minutes ... You can imagine the pissing contests between the airline personnel and the TSA.

Re:Hard to make sense of that. (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486214)

If septuagenarian "Elizabeth Johnson" misses her flight, they wont pull her bags. But if 32yr old "Ahmet Imadinerjacket" misses his flight, the bomb squad is called and his bags are imploded.

You've got it completely backwards - TSA is scared of the ACLU screaming racism at them that they'd much rather hassle old white and black people than anyone who looks remotely mid-eastern.

Re:Hard to make sense of that. (1, Flamebait)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483648)

It's pretty loose. I've not boarded flights after check-in quite a number of times-- from overbooked flights to having to email a document and missing boarding. My baggage has never been pulled in any of these circumstances. I frequently standby later or later in the day and see my baggage fly on the original flight. YMMV; I've flow 500K on two airlines, but don't think that anything but elite status really matters. US airports remain pathetically insecure -- if you can afford a full first fare, you can make it past security at almost any US airport at any time you want. Just get some skin whitening formula and a fake ID that says your name is "Mitt Romeny" :)

Re:Hard to make sense of that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483304)

It is not clear if that rule applies when there are no passengers on the flight...

Not against FAA rules depending on circumstance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483378)

Baggage for which the pax did not fly with are routinely sent thru other flights. This is the case when baggage are lost and msut be resent to the correct destination, or when the pax started a multiple leg travel, but one of the onto legs are missed. In such case the baggage continue to travel, but the pax not. What is forbidden, if I remember correctely, is that a pax for the initial leg do not fly but the baggage do : in such a case you have to unboard the baggage at the same time you unboard the pax.

Re:Not against FAA rules depending on circumstance (1)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483502)

UA lost my luggage on a trip to the Philippines. I lost all my dive gear that I was planning on using in Cebu. After spending hours on the phone to a call center in India, I was still not able to get my luggage. I am shit out of luck. Still haven't been reimbursed three years latter. This is entirely OT, but I just though I would get it off my chest.

Re:Not against FAA rules depending on circumstance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483590)

I've read more than one story about crap like that.

What I've seen people do is if they can't afford to lose it, and can't carry the item, they have it sent via air mail to their destination. Air mail almost always has some provision of insurance and the freight system isn't perfect, but you either will have your stuff, or an insurance check in your hand, unlike airlines where you will likely have neither.

I do this often when traveling domestically. If I come across something interesting in a shop, instead of carrying it home, it gets insured and shipped, preferably from the store itself. If the store can't ship it, usually there is a shop that can package the item well enough and send it on its merry way. This way, I know something is going to be waiting for me when I get back. This way, I can just use one carryon bag.

I see this commonly done with bicycles. Airlines tend to mangle them, so having them send via hard cases via UPS ensures they will be there in some servicable condition on arrival.

Re:Hard to make sense of that. (4, Informative)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483636)

Are the passengers getting their luggage shipped in the planes and not allowed to board or what's happening? As far as I know sending a plane with luggage for a passenger that hasn't boarded is against FAA rules.

Confusion...

Not true, I work in the airline industry at an airport. The bag cannot be sent ahead of passenger by law only on international flights; on domestic flights it's not illegal to send a bag on a different flight, just not preferred.

Re:Hard to make sense of that. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36484258)

>Not true, I work in the airline industry at an airport. The bag cannot be sent ahead of passenger by law only on international flights
That's not a hard rule either. I was trying to fly to Europe parent non-rev standby last Christmas and didn't get on the flight. They said they would return the bags to the baggage claim. They never came. When I checked the next day, the bags had been sent on another flight to Spain, then on to Greece...unaccompanied. I ended up cancelling the trip as everything was backed up because of bad weather in northern Europe. Fortunately the airlines put a note in the baggage file and my family was able to pick up the bags. They were full of Christmas presents.

Qantas break that one every week by design (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487960)

Qantas have a few problems with their new Dallas/Fort worth to Australia route where they ship all the luggage by seperate flights via LAX. With the planes they've got on the route they can't carry enough fuel otherwise. It's a quick service though - passengers get to Australia so quickly they can beat their luggage there by up to two days :)

Hard to make sense without more details (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36484132)

It's hard to make sense of the incident without more details. How much is M$ Windoze involved in creating the problems? I'd assume it's at the heart of the matter.

Re:Hard to make sense without more details (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484222)

Absolutely no chance this is a "Windoze" problem.

This will be a problem with a mainframe, probably but not necessarily software. The reason that passengers with bookings cannot fly is that most reservations nowadays are ticketless - the evidence is only in the database.

I work for another airline and have been in nightmare situations like this. We have backup hardware in place - the discs are simply switched to the backup machine. If they follow similar procedures then the chances are some software update went wrong.

Network configuration (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484416)

Absolutely no chance this is a "Windoze" problem.

This will be a problem with a mainframe, probably but not necessarily software.

It's hard to say until after the dust has settled. It could also be a network configuration issue. I observed a similar problem on Icelandair some weeks ago at Seattle.

The check-in terminals just would not work, or worked, but hideously slowly. Since I was first to check in (at the desk before it opened), they got me checked in on all four flights, and even got my bag tagged properly to my destination, but it took 15-ish minutes. They managed a few more passengers before they gave up or the system failed completely. Opening 2 more check-in desks had not helped, and they did not have time to spend 15 minutes per check-in for a full 757. Most of the almost 200 people subsequently in the departure lounge thus had no boarding pass, and were not checked to any connecting flights. I have no idea what their luggage status was.

The story volunteered by one of the technical support persons, two of whom were already there during my lengthy check-in, was that it was a network configuration issue with the terminals (i.e. Windows or their LAN), but he was busy enough that nobody bothered him for further details. No other airlines were affected, as far as I know. I can imagine a network configuration issue completely borking processes for a larger airline, especially if it was a globally propagated routing screw-up or similar.

LulzSec? (1)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483180)

So, when will LulzSec admit that they wer behind this. I'm sure the airlines will never admit to being hacked.

Re:LulzSec? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483334)

I doubt LulzSec could pull of anything that would cripple the airport networks... more likely one of the FEPs finally gave up the ghost.

Re:LulzSec? (2)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483366)

A few years back Northwest was taken offline for few days when a road crew accidentally dug into an unmarked fiber line. So maybe they cant do it digitally, but they can easily find maps of where the fiber is buried...

Re:LulzSec? (2)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483352)

Just you watch. They will admit to being hacked, and then tack on a $25 per seat "Digital Ticket Security Initiative" fee.

Re:LulzSec? (-1)

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Re:LulzSec? (1)

warGod3 (198094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484770)

Are you kidding? The airlines will blame anyone they can in order to defer their incompetence unto another party, ESPECIALLY United.

The last thing that an airline wants is for the public to lose confidence in them, so they'll blame lulz or anonymous or the Chinese... whichever will get them the most sympathy from the public.

good information (-1, Offtopic)

jagcbe (1872356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483222)

Very Useful information [mytitbits.com] Thanks.

US Airways last week, now United? (1)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483234)

At what point do you stop thinking of this as a glitch and start thinking of it as an attack?

Re:US Airways last week, now United? (3, Insightful)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483458)

At what point do you stop thinking of this as a glitch and start thinking of it as an attack?

And if it is a cause of war, then how are you sure you were not spoofed?

Re:US Airways last week, now United? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 3 years ago | (#36485494)

And if it is a cause of war, then how are you sure you were not spoofed?

Because you attack the people you wanted to in the first place.

Re:US Airways last week, now United? (3, Funny)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483474)

Hm... if you want to get paranoid, perhaps Homeland Security requested some additional access rights on the airlines' computer systems and managed to foul up whatever they touched in the process?

Re:US Airways last week, now United? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36484006)

TSA's already connected since SecureFlight went into effect a couple of years ago

That strange thing did happen earlier (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488020)

Something like that actually did happen a few years back in a predictably incompetent way. A Homeland Security owned PC with a dodgy network card caused a packet storm at a US airport and could not be disconnected until an authorised Homeland Security person turned up some hours later. That put quite a few airline systems at that airport offline for those hours - I can't remember which airport it was (think it was in LA or San Francisco) but it was in the press at the time.

Re:US Airways last week, now United? (1)

Uteck (127534) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484218)

It's not a glitch or an attack, just the normal incompetence of the United IT management.

Re:US Airways last week, now United? (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486104)

At what point do you stop thinking of this as a glitch and start thinking of it as an attack?

When people start getting killed instead of inconvenienced.

Re:US Airways last week, now United? (1)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486124)

I don't think you're looking at this in quite the correct way. Disrupting air travel in the US on a massive scale would be a serious economic blow. You don't have to actually kill people to do a lot of damage.

Damn Skynet. (2)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483320)

Instead of getting an AI that just wants to outright kill us all, we got one that just wants to fuck with us...

Re:Damn Skynet. (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483566)

Mr Quaker:

I have just directed your baggage to Mars Colony, to arrive on the April 1 3929 shuttle.

-- SKYNET

Re:Damn Skynet. (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483944)

Instead of getting an AI that just wants to outright kill us all, we got one that just wants to fuck with us...

We were expecting Doomsday, and got Dumbsday?

Re:Damn Skynet. (1)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483992)

Well, it was created by Americans...

Not the RES system, but the CKI system (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483332)

Airline mainframe of the size of an United are usually separated in several backends. One for the Reservation/Inventory & Ticketing and Scheduling, another for the OPS, check In, Weight and balance. Sometiems even more mainframe. Basically when you "book" you add your own PNR (passenger Name Recvord) to the invetory system thru the reservation system, this can happens directly with the airline own system, or a GDS system (think travel agency using Amadeus / Sabre), once the sales is done the ticketing system (for the own airline ticket stocks / travel agency use IATA stocks) generate the ticket, in the past paper ticket, nowaday mostly etickets. After that shortly before departure (24h to 28h) the RES system send the PNL (passenger Name List) to the GHS (groudn Handler system, can also be the airline own check in system, but can be a special firm asked to do it, airport systems, or a partner airline, for example United is checked-in by Lufthansa in Frankfurt, and vice versa the Check in is done by United for Lufthansa in the US) that GH system usually when it receives the PNL get the ticket ferom the ticketing database (either directly thru an itnern link, or using edifact message , namely the TKCREQ ground handling message).


The reason I doubt this was the RES system, is that this would mean there would be *NO SALES* or *BOOKING* if it weas the RES system, where as flight would continueb to operate for 24h about. Whereas here the flight stopperd, but nothing is said about sales stopping. Therefore I can see a number of sub system stopping working : WAB, but for those usually you can have load sheets as work around, and unless the UA agent are kept dumb, they have that as work around. That could be MES , messaging, where the message (PNL & Edifact) don't go reach the GH place, but it is doubtful as this would mean that the glitch was yesterday.

That leaves the check in system glitching , or the OPS system (the one handling the scheduled departure of flights). Seeing that the picture is a picture of a MANUAL boarding pass , I tend to think this was the check in system which failed. Anotehr evidence that this is the CHeck in of UA which failed and not the RES system , si that other origin which are NOT ground handled by UA , like FRA are working. Only the local check in from UA seems to be impacted.

There are naturally work around that for a short time (manual boarding pass, paper PNL and check list) but those are short stop gp measure. I can imagine UA sending pax in hotel and getting this corrected / solved during the night.



That was a little nitpick : RES from UA did not break, almost certainly CKI from UA broke (check in). That is as much a difference as Amazon warehouse and sales breaking , or their delivery service breaking. That said for the stranded Pax : no difference probably.

Re:Not the RES system, but the CKI system (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483442)

I am airplane computer nerd. Look at my ePenis.

Re:Not the RES system, but the CKI system (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484246)

You are assuming RES and CKI are not on the same physical machine, that assumption may well be correct but is not a certainty. As to CKI breaking, that depends on whether you consider the processing of ticketless (paperless) bookings to be part of CKI. CKI breaking would just mean that ground staff would have to allocate seats manually, more serious is if the database saying who has paid for tickets is unavailable and that is what it looks like here.

Best of luck guys. Been there, done that.

Re:Not the RES system, but the CKI system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36486732)

Holy run on sentence, Batman!

Start over, this time don't treat periods like they're more precious than consistent capitalization.

update :Not the RES system, but still down .. (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36490612)

Sunday morning: Still down.

They can book people on flights and move them even from one flight to another, so it isn't RES
But before boarding they have to manually re-enter the passenger data...

Fairly common (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483432)

This regularly happens [google.com] to Virgin in Australia.

Re:Fairly common (5, Funny)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483450)

This regularly happens [google.com] to Virgin in Australia.

Passengers getting fucked by Virgin?

Is this some sort of "in Soviet Russia" joke?

Customers infected by "virgin"! (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484438)

This regularly happens [google.com] to Virgin in Australia.

Passengers getting fucked by Virgin?

Is this some sort of "in Soviet Russia" joke?

That's nothing.

According to the BBC, there is now another virgin notifying "customers" who got infected [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:Fairly common (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36485456)

I can assure you that Virgin did not want that to happen and when something like this does happen there are shakeups to prevent it from happening again.

A massive delay on United Airlines? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483574)

Isn't that also known as "business as usual"? Their most frequent customers wouldn't even notice.

I've only flown United twice. The first time there was a 5 hour delay. The second time there was a 3 hour delay. So today's delay sounds par for the course.

Treat yourself and avoid United (1)

decaffeinated (70626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484304)

After spending 36 hours in DIA (Denver Intl Airport) due to a spring snowstorm that shut down the entire airport, I will never again fly United if I can help it and DIA (United's major western hub) is to be avoided at all costs.

The most demoralizing thing in the world is to wake up from a night sleeping on the airport floor and watch freshly scrubbed local customers board the plane that you could not fly out of town the night before. That's right: United dumped all (paid, booked) passengers from our previous night's canceled flight on standby.

Want to feel a real kick in the nuts? Walk up to a departure gate and ask how many passengers are wait-listed to your home town...Ans: 99.

The only way we escaped DIA in a relatively short period of time was due to my wife's "constructive confrontation" with a United ticketing agent.

Re:Treat yourself and avoid United (2)

KingAdrock (115014) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484484)

I'm no United fan, but what would you have them do? Cascade the delays for two days and impact 600 customers instead of the 99 already impacted? Sucks for you of course, but I'm not sure there was a better option (assuming there wasn't alternative metal sitting around unused -- which is unlikely).

Re:Treat yourself and avoid United (1)

rmcd (53236) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484866)

The "better option" that the airlines almost never take is to book you on another airline. Of course, that would cost them money as opposed to making you wait for an empty seat, which costs them almost nothing.

Re:Treat yourself and avoid United (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486524)

Run with enough reserve capacity that the whole house of cards doesn't tumble down due to a single incident? Develop a cooperative agreement with other airlines to pool some excess capacity (to keep the costs down)?

At least be prepared to offer better than sleep on the floor like a dog and scavenge for peanut packs if there is a delay?

Perhaps have a secondary hub and switch the routes to use it if there's any significant threat of problems at the primary? Sometimes snow storms can be surprising, but there's rarely zero warning.

Re:Treat yourself and avoid United (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486668)

The better option is to have 5% capacity in reserve. If a flight is canceled the night before and can fly the next day, then fly it the next day. When you try to operate at 100% all the time, you leave no ability to absorb any mishaps. But the flight schedules at the airport are full and the schedules for the flight crews and airplanes as full as the law will let them go.

Re:Treat yourself and avoid United (1)

decaffeinated (70626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486680)

Come back and talk to me after you've endured a night on the floor in DIA, and then wake up in the morning and realize that you are literally trapped in the airport, with no foreseeable way home.

Re:Treat yourself and avoid United (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488084)

Exactly that, because it gives those others plenty of time to consider other options. That's how competant airlines appear to do it; an informed delay and a sweetener that costs them almost nothing but keeps the customers happy of some extra frequent flyer points. You get time to change your plans.

Re:A massive delay on United Airlines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36485632)

Last time I had this happen to me the agent said it would be up to 1 week before they could book me a new flight and I could standby for the rest of the week. "uhm so you want me to hang out in an airport for a week hoping i *might* get a flight are you insane? How about you book me on one of your competitors and eat the cost. Oh that makes sense."

To Err is Human, but ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483702)

... to make a really big mess, you need computers.

Karma at its finest (1)

cyssero (1554429) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483922)

Must be karma for booting a passenger off Flight 488 earlier in the week for wearing baggy pants [sfgate.com] . They must be too busy acting as fashion police than to be concerned with their IT infrastructure. Accompanying YouTube video to the above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOQI_FhKbw0 [youtube.com]

Re:Karma at its finest (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36484034)

He IS a nig and probably a thug, but this was totally unnecessary. I see a big lawsuit.

Re:Karma at its finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36486590)

That was US Airways.

Re:Karma at its finest (1)

cyssero (1554429) | more than 3 years ago | (#36489356)

Whoops!

I was waiting for a passenger (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36484180)

I was waiting for my mother on a flight from Dallas to Denver. They could not tell me if the plane was delayed, if it was canceled, if it arrived. I waited 2 hours and finally the general airport screens removed the flight from arrivals (still with 2 hour previous expected time). The United people could not even tell me the flight was canceled. Finally I reached my mother as she had just returned home. Supposedly they will automagically reschedule every flight and call with new flight details. That was 4 1/2 hours ago. The flight was canceled almost 6 hours ago. 10 minutes ago United called my father, who had purchased the ticket for my mother, and informed him the flight was canceled.

Re:I was waiting for a passenger (1)

Angry Toad (314562) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487778)

I was stuck in O'Hare for about 4 hours last night waiting on a flight to Vancouver - they finally got around the whole mess at midnight by the startling notion of using a clipboard and a booking list and then carefully checking everyone's ID. Shockingly this worked quite well.

Fire the IT "leadership" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36484440)

United needs to fire their IT overlords. As usual, the shit is blamed on computers, but it's the IT department or possibly an external vendor, who really fucked things up. Get it? It's not the computers. It's the people responsible for them who blew it. Fire them.

United Airlines Reservation System (1)

doperative (1958782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484644)

"The big decision is in: United Airlines plans to wean itself off its decades-long reservations-system provider, Travelport’s Apollo, and to migrate its reservations to HP’s SHARES system in 2012". link [tnooz.com]

"The Apollo reservation system used by United Airlines was down worldwide for at least four hours Tuesday", Jan 2006 link [internetnews.com]

Re:United Airlines Reservation System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36485604)

Funny HP shares system is probably technology that they sold off to Accenture, then PRA solutions(AKA Navitaire), back in 2001 http://newsroom.accenture.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=3662 [accenture.com] This technology is and was based on hp3000 mainframe technology but it is very solid. In my opinion moving off of an old mainframe technology does not always buy you what you think it does. However it does keep money out of the hands of companies like Microsoft whose private dealings has been trying to get reservation companies to move away from mainframes and Unix based systems for over 10 years now. The problem is that with Microsoft if there is a problem you call them up and they fix it but they don't tell you how to prevent the problem in the future. However this does allow you to hire more, cheaper, engineers and programmers to run your wares. Unix systems required a higher caliber of programmer and engineer team because you didn't have the support, other than a company like IBM. HP Shares system is an old reservations technology as well so as far as moving from old to new they are moving from old to old(but that competitors have had a lot of good luck with). HP has a new system call HP Agilaire Passenger Service Solution which I hope is not Microsoft based but most likely is. Most likely HP plans to roll all of their airlines off of Shares and on to their new system which probably uses off the shelf technology blade and VM technology rather than mainframes.

Re:United Airlines Reservation System (1)

doperative (1958782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36499886)

> The problem is that with Microsoft if there is a problem you call them up and they fix it but they don't tell you how to prevent the problem in the future ..

The average Microsoft Certified sandwichmaker only know how to click on a 'service pack' or reinstall, reinstall, reinstall the OS.

> However this does allow you to hire more, cheaper, engineers and programmers to run your wares. Unix systems required a higher caliber of programmer and engineer team because you didn't have the support, other than a company like IBM ..

That's a false analogy, more doesn't equate to cheaper, and Unix support staff aren't necessarily more expensive. And unless you are in the software development process, then you would have no need of onsite programmers. And there are numerous companies offering support contracts.

Who does their IT? (1)

desertfool (21262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36485042)

Did United outsource their IT?

time to dump the old terminal system and move to a (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36485058)

time to dump the old terminal system and move to a new system you can keep the old look and feel if that easier on the people useing the system and slowly work in a new GUI.

I wonder.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36486146)

if they'll ever learn to move away from Windows.

United cheating on their flight tracker. (2)

formfeed (703859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36490642)

I was checking on a flight this morning and according to United's site it left a minute late. In reality it was almost an hour.

While United didn't have the delay listed, both flightstats and flightaware did. So the information is available, United just doesn't want to share it with anyone. - Or do they use their own website, to prove your flight was on time?

First they came for... (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36490678)

First they went after the free drinks
and I didn't speak out, because I don't care much about getting drunk on a plane.

Then they came for mothers traveling with strollers
and I didn't speak out, because I hate the kicking children sitting behind me.

Then they came for the guitars
and I didn't speak out, because I didn't care about Canadians.

Now they're coming for me and this is really unfair.

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