Flights Cancelled After The Computer System Crashed
British Airways had cancelled its flights
There was chaos at Gatwick and Heathrow airports when passengers were told that British Airways had cancelled all its flights out of London after its computer system crashed.
Thousands of passengers were left in the lurch, with the situation made worst by the fact that it was one of the busiest weekends of the year.
Passengers were not given enough information and many were even unable to retrieve their luggage. Following all the explanations given by the airline later, there seems to be no concrete excuse for such a major breakdown.
The airline said there was no cyber-attack on their system and they eventually narrowed it down to a power supply issue. Many questions were posed, a pertinent one being, what kind of back-up systems did such a prominent airline like British Airways have in place and why they had underestimated such a threat.
The airline’s trade union pointed fingers at the airline’s decision to axe and outsource British IT jobs over the past 12 months. Perhaps this was due to certain cost-cutting measures initiated by the airlines to compete with other low-cost carriers.
Major Failure of a Critical Computer System Could Result in Lost Revenue
However, many questioned the rationality of this decision and whether such cost-cutting measures should be initiated in the first place at the possible expense of passenger comfort. In the past, British Airways had admitted that a major failure of a critical computer system could result in lost revenue, as the airline depends heavily on IT systems for most of it’s business processes.
Knowing their heavy dependence on IT, the airline should have had a much more efficient disaster recovery plan and other back-up and recovery in place in case of such incidents. Reports revealed that this was not the first time BA was hit by such a crisis – sometime in September 2016, faulty check-in systems at Heathrow and Gatwick again created some glaring flight delays.
The valuable lesson to learn from this is whether your company has what it takes to face such an attack without seriously jeopardising your business.
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