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Transportation Bug

Hundreds of Southwest Flights Delayed By Online Booking Problems 36

An anonymous reader writes: A technology problem delayed hundreds of Southwest Airlines flights Sunday while the airline checked-in passengers manually at airports. Around 300 flights had been delayed as of Sunday afternoon. In a statement on its website, Southwest said intermittent technical issues "are impacting website performance in creating new bookings and requiring us to process some customers manually as they arrive for travel."
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Hundreds of Southwest Flights Delayed By Online Booking Problems

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  • Frosty (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Sunday October 11, 2015 @07:34PM (#50706021) Homepage Journal

    Odds on it's due to systemd.

  • News for nerds on the same day that it matters? Nice.

    I hope therer isn't too much flail resulting from this. Flying in the US is already painful enough.

    • Wonder why every little issue with aviation is newsworthy.

      A couple thousand people delayed/inconvenienced due to computer glitch - headline news! Big problems! Get out the disaster mitigation plans!

      Millions of people lost personal information to identity thieves: minor issue.

      Tens of thousands killed in the US-supported civil wars (supported by massive weapons supplies - which recently I read are being increased significantly in the wake of Russia's involvement) in the Middle East: no problem, as that's not

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

        Wonder why every little issue with aviation is newsworthy.

        Because aviation is a utility. The same things come through when power is out to lots, or such. And bonus to the "nerd" part is that it involves online bookings.

        Even hurricanes that swamp and knock out parts of Manhattan for weeks, and it's barely as much reported on as a little aviation-related issue.

        No, it's covered here, in great detail. People talk about the power junctions under the road not being water tight, the pumps for the tunnels not working, the power lines buried vs above ground, Global Warming's role in the storm. I see lots of articles when big storms bother many people.

      • Tens of thousands killed in the US-supported civil wars (supported by massive weapons supplies [blablabla]

        You want stories about a major airline's IT infrastructure shitting itself? Slashdot is the right place.

        You want stories about the latest twitter feud between Katy Perry and the Kardashians? Go on TMZ or people.com

        You want to discuss your alleged "US-supported civil wars", Bush's crime against humanity or the plot to discredit Hillary Clinton? Go see Mother Jones or some other left wing website.

        To each his own, and if you don't respect that there's other websites for you out there, lookup the website of the

        • Tens of thousands killed in the US-supported civil wars (supported by massive weapons supplies [blablabla]

          You want stories about a major airline's IT infrastructure shitting itself? Slashdot is the right place.

          You want stories about the latest twitter feud between Katy Perry and the Kardashians? Go on TMZ or people.com

          You want to discuss your alleged "US-supported civil wars", Bush's crime against humanity or the plot to discredit Hillary Clinton? Go see Mother Jones or some other left wing website.

          To each his own, and if you don't respect that there's other websites for you out there, lookup the website of the Westboro Baptist Church or the various youtube channels supporting ISIS, those people also think they know what matters and what doesn't.

          The story is not much about the IT infrastructure, as it is about the number of inconvenienced people and flight delays. Barely a word on the technical side of what went wrong and how it's being solved (which would for most of this tech and IT minded crowd be quite interesting), and what's said about that part is mostly marketing speak. How does this make the story slashdot-worthy? Just because it involved computers?

          • by lucm ( 889690 )

            Tens of thousands killed in the US-supported civil wars (supported by massive weapons supplies [blablabla]

            You want stories about a major airline's IT infrastructure shitting itself? Slashdot is the right place.

            You want stories about the latest twitter feud between Katy Perry and the Kardashians? Go on TMZ or people.com

            You want to discuss your alleged "US-supported civil wars", Bush's crime against humanity or the plot to discredit Hillary Clinton? Go see Mother Jones or some other left wing website.

            To each his own, and if you don't respect that there's other websites for you out there, lookup the website of the Westboro Baptist Church or the various youtube channels supporting ISIS, those people also think they know what matters and what doesn't.

            The story is not much about the IT infrastructure, as it is about the number of inconvenienced people and flight delays. Barely a word on the technical side of what went wrong and how it's being solved (which would for most of this tech and IT minded crowd be quite interesting), and what's said about that part is mostly marketing speak. How does this make the story slashdot-worthy? Just because it involved computers?

            Well, you've got a point there. I went to read the article but there wasn't a bit of technical information. I was hoping for some details, maybe an opportunity to bitch about Indian subcontractors like with that whole RBS fiasco a while back, but nothing. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

  • ... to a hole in a donut it's a breach.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 11, 2015 @09:29PM (#50706335)
    This isn't the first time Southwest has had problems with their system capacity. A few months ago they had a fare sale and the resulting traffic locked up both their website and their call center. How hard is it to build autoscaling for their reservation system? Apparently really, really hard.
    • Maybe they use AWS EC2 and all the capacity got sucked in by Netflix, who just released Supernatural Season 10...

    • These reservation systems are actually technological marvels and a bit of a miracle that they work at all. They often not only track purchases, but they also have to dynamically self-correct for delays. If a plane full of people in Houston are delayed 3 hours then it has to begin a system wide dependency calculation to find them all seats on later flights. I can see just at a glance how that would be a nightmare to distribute and scale easily. You can't have a race condition where two delayed flights

      • So how much of that is actually done automagically and how much is actually done by a person in a box, with the system simply sorting out the details?

  • After flying a lot for years I hadn't flown for a couple years until a few weeks ago. I've never seen it take as long to get through the gate as it did on this trip and 100% of the delay was from people trying to get the scanners to read their phones/pads. It was pretty funny.
  • I was at a big box store yesterday when the computer went down. They called all the cashiers to the service desk and passed out kits of multipart forms so that they could manually write orders. However, they had to look up prices on the website using their personal phones, since most items just had bar codes, and none of the cashiers had ever had to compute tax on a calculator before. It was hilarious.

    • However, they had to look up prices on the website using their personal phones, since most items just had bar codes

      Did you offer to help them... with the Amazon app?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 11, 2015 @09:52PM (#50706427)

    To their credit, SW handled it very well on the flights I took today. Baggage was fine and the boarding process was ordered to revert to paper boarding passes. People with e-passes were simply required to show ID. Flights were delayed maybe half an hour. Not bad for a nationwide infrastructure outage.

  • Having been caught in this mess, mainly due to a delayed flight, what was a simple, one layover 6 hour flight, turned into a three layover 12 hour odyssey, where I'm fairly certain that I only got my luggage to me due to sheer luck.

    I've never had this much trouble flying...

  • They should send choppers with spies and shit to get Scorpion from his low-key digs so he can fix that control tower. It worked in Season 1.

  • I love when the technology goes does, you see how little people actually know or care about there job. I'd be very surprised if any of the airport employees were working at even 20% of an acceptable speed. The technology is only an aid, not a replacement, you have to be ready to jump when it fails and kick into full blown action.
    • Most people print their boarding passes at home. Due to the outage, they couldn't do everyone had to wait in line at the airport.

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