web Musings of The Global Traveller

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Reliance on computers

I got caught up in travel chaos yesterday, caused by Air New Zealand's major computer failure lasting half a day. Fortunately I was flying a simple itinerary with a single connection and no onward flights on other airlines.

While the airports were very crowded due to the hours long delays and it also being the last day of school holidays, I was able to relax in the airline lounge. Okay the lounge was crowded and noisy, but not as badly as the main part of the terminal.

I was impressed at how well the manual processes worked in the circumstances. There is such a heavy reliance on computers for everything. Air New Zealand perhaps moreso than other airlines due to some innovations in domestic travel - eg OLCI at time of booking means they do not know whether all passengers are flying until boarding. Despite this few if any flights were cancelled.

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