mschaffer writes "A computer glitch Friday night snarled the travel plans of US Airways customers, as reports flooded in of flights grounded around the country." As someone stranded for several hours yesterday by this outage, "glitch" seems like quite a euphemism. With outgoing flights blocked, and new ones arriving full of passengers expecting to meet connections, the atmosphere got a little heated. Customers could see nice weather, and planes lined up outside, but "The System Is Down" trumps all. The E concourse at Charlotte (a US Airways hub) was packed full of customers ranging from livid (a handful) to merely angry (most) to calmly resigned — which means those of us with seats, snacks, and books or computers. It was disheartening to see how brittle is the infrastructure the airline employs; with the part of the system visible to airline employees down, customers thought they might get more information, or even rebooking, through the US Airways website. But that was down, too, and all the desk staff could do is shrug.
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