Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Delta's Delays

Sorry it took so long for this post to arrive:

Long lines plague Logan after massive Delta disruption

"Delta still plagued by delays, cancellations" by David Koenig Associated Press  August 10, 2016

DALLAS — Delta passengers endured hundreds more canceled and delayed flights Tuesday as the carrier slogged through day two of its recovery from the meltdown.

Delta’s challenge Tuesday was to find enough seats on planes during the busy summer vacation season to accommodate the tens of thousands of passengers whose flights were scrubbed.

Airlines in general have been packing more people into each plane, so when a major carrier has a technology crash it’s harder to find seats for the waylaid.

Oh yeah?

Confusion among passengers Monday was compounded as Delta’s flight-status updates crashed as well. Instead of staying home or poolside at a hotel until the airline could fix the mess, many passengers learned about the gridlock only after they reached the airport.

They were stuck.

That makes one feel real good about the total electronic and computerized society of data collection that is being constructed. 

So what happened?

A spokesman for the local electric company, Georgia Power, said the problem started with a piece of Delta equipment called a switchgear, which direct flows within a power system. No other customers lost power, he said. 

That's all it was?

Airlines depend on huge, overlapping, and complicated systems to operate flights, ticketing, boarding, airport kiosks, websites, and mobile phone apps. Even brief outages can now snarl traffic and, as the Delta incident shows, those problems can go global in seconds....



Okay, the "system was still sluggish: A critical piece of equipment failed at the airline’s Atlanta headquarters, causing a loss of power, and key systems and equipment did not switch over to backups as designed."

You know, I think I'm going to cancel the flight:

"Third day of computer problems for Delta" by Scott Mayerowitz Associated Press  August 11, 2016

NEW YORK — Delta fliers faced delays, cancellations, and more headaches Wednesday as the Atlanta-based airline struggled with its computer systems for the third straight day.

More than 300 flights were canceled by the afternoon, in addition to the 800 scrapped Tuesday and 1,000 canceled Monday. Hundreds of other flights were delayed Wednesday.

Delta Air Lines said in a statement during the morning that it planned to resume ‘‘normal operations’’ by Wednesday afternoon but by 2 p.m. had yet to do so. Hundreds of thousands of passengers have been stranded overnight throughout the ordeal, many spending the night in airports around the globe. Others were put up in hotels by Delta, including 2,300 in Atlanta alone Tuesday night.

Good for the local economy!

The system the airline uses to check in and board passengers as well as dispatch its planes is still slow, Gil West, Delta’s chief operating officer said Tuesday.

The problems started early Monday when, according to a statement by West, critical piece of equipment failed at the airline’s headquarters. It caused a loss of power and key systems and equipment did not switch over to backups as designed.

Yeah, I saw that.

Delta extended a travel-waiver policy to help stranded passengers rearrange their travel plans. It offered refunds and $200 in travel vouchers to people whose flights were canceled or delayed at least three hours.

Airlines have been packing more people in each plane, so when a major carrier has a technology crash it’s harder to find seats for the waylaid. Last month, the average Delta flight was 87 percent full.


More on the cause?

"A small fire at Delta Air Lines Inc.’s computer center was partly to blame for the network failure that caused massive cancellations worldwide on Monday, a spokesman for the Atlanta-based carrier said. The fire was extinguished without assistance from the local fire department, the spokesman said Thursday, declining further comment. A power-control module at the company’s Atlanta command center failed and caught fire, leading to the electric surge and a loss of power to the company’s computers, chief executive Ed Bastian told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Also, about 300 of Delta’s 7,000 servers weren’t wired to backup power, a vulnerability that the company hadn’t been aware of, Bastian told the newspaper. Delta canceled more than 2,100 flights through Wednesday after the computer-network failure, which started around 2:30 a.m. Monday. The company’s computers were down until about 8:30 a.m. The airline reported 25 cancellations as of 9 a.m. Thursday, some of which were weather-related."

Uh-huh, yup.

The real reason for the delay:

"A Muslim flight attendant has sued ExpressJet, accusing the airline of wrongly suspending her because she refused to serve alcohol to passengers. The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter announced Tuesday that it filed the lawsuit last week on behalf of Charee Stanley, a Detroit-based flight attendant for the airline headquartered in Atlanta. The federal court case follows a discrimination complaint filed last year with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which dismissed it without determining whether the airline violated the law. Stanley alleges ExpressJet didn’t provide a reasonable religious accommodation and seeks back pay and other damages. She was placed on unpaid leave last summer. ExpressJet said in a statement that it values diversity but cannot comment on specific personnel matters or ongoing litigation." 

I'll bet that was her last flight

Coming in for a landing now:

"A Jet Blue flight that originated at Logan International Airport encountered fierce turbulence."

It was the union mechanics that caused it:

American Airlines, union reach interim pay deal

United attendants back contract

Number of small plane crashes at lowest level in decades

Then why say anything?

"Six people died when a small aircraft flying from central Florida to Oxford, Miss., developed engine problems and crashed Sunday morning while trying to land in Alabama, authorities said. The names of victims were not immediately released. But online aircraft records showed the aircraft was registered to a private airplane charter company which shares an address with a dental office in Oxford, the home of the University of Mississippi."

Speculation is centering on the batteries that powered the plane.

Reports of shots fired at JFK appear unfounded

When I first saw that I thought it had something to do with the assassination.

Delta to expand service in Boston

Hope you don't mind waiting.


Blame airlines, not weather, for most US flight delays

American Airlines retires 80 MD-80 aircraft

United Airlines hires new president from American Airlines