This Wired report details the recent history of “software-fueled” airline disruptions. Tuesday’s grounding of over 400 American Airlines flights is the latest in a string of such incidents.
“With completely computerized booking systems, one minor glitch is enough to shutter not just a single flight, but an entire airline. And it seems to be happening with increasing regularity…While the cause of [Tuesday’s] outage remains unclear, American Airlines says that it was unable to connect with its online booking system, Sabre, which handles everything from boarding passes to tracking checked baggage,” according to Wired.
“There’s no such thing as a minor glitch anymore,” Mike Boyd, airline analyst and chairman of the Boyd Group International, told Wired. “With everything computerized, there are failures. They’re like teenage kids. You don’t always know why they do what they do.”
The increased computerization of the airline industry over the last 30 years has obvious benefits for both airlines and consumers, but the major thrust behind the integration of software systems is more for security than utility, says Wired. Read about the American Airlines disruption and more here.