cityguy
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 3:12 am

USAirways Meltdown!

Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:57 pm

Not sure if anyone has caught this, but the deep problems of the integration continue-there are massive delays and long lines at PHL due to the Kiosks NOT working-STILL. People missing flights and tempers flaring.

Parker and his Philadelphia based crew just keep screwing this up! Its amazing..I DO understand complex software integration, but this is bad. I have friends and colleagues who have just cancelled trips outright than deal with this.

The website is SLLLOOOOOWWWWW as well.

I have to go to PHX and then to SAC Sunday.....yikes.

and Parker thought he could deal with a Delta buyout?
 
xjramper
Posts: 2318
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 1:10 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:19 pm

Give them some credit. For not having a running computer system over the weekend, flights still ran (not saying on time, but they still ran).

Quoting Cityguy (Thread starter):
and Parker thought he could deal with a Delta buyout?

Tell me how you would have done it differently? Really. I would love to know.

XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
micstatic
Posts: 607
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2001 10:07 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:22 pm

Quoting XJramper (Reply 1):
Tell me how you would have done it differently? Really. I would love to know.

For one, it is evident that their IT department skimped on testing.
S340,DH8,AT7,CR2/7,E135/45/170/190,319,320,717,732,733,734,735,737,738,744,752,762,763,764,772,M80,M90
 
BMIFlyer
Posts: 8065
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RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:25 pm

Quoting Cityguy (Thread starter):
USAirways Meltdown!

I wouldn't call it a meltdown  Wink

At least the airline is trying to fix the problem, here is the press release on the situation  Smile

http://www.usairways.com/awa/TravelAdvisory/TravelAdvisoryCenter.aspx

Travel Advisory
Last Updated: 3/5/2007 9:06 PM ET
Early Check-in

This weekend, US Airways completed migration to one reservation system. As a result, we are experiencing some isolated technical issues at several airports. Here are a few tips for travelers:

Bypass the ticket counter by using Web Check-in up to 24 hours prior to departure. You can change your seat assignment, print your boarding pass and upgrade to First Class.
If you don't have your confirmation number, your Dividend Miles number will allow you to access your reservation.
If you don't have access to a computer, you can also utilize curbside check-in services to receive your boarding pass and check baggage, where available.
If you must see an agent, we recommend you arrive at least two hours prior to your departure time.
Customers may also utilize curbside check-in for baggage whether or not they have checked in on-line at home. Customers who need to check a bag may still check in online and leave their bags with an agent at the ticket counter at most airports. Additionally, at our hub airports, you will be directed by an agent at the ticketing area for special areas to leave bags.
We will continue to update usairways.com.




Cities Affected: Boston, MA (BOS); Charlotte, NC (CLT); Philadelphia, PA (PHL);
Date Range: 3/4/2007 4:30 PM ET through 3/8/2007 12:00 AM ET
Revised Ticket Policy: Due to long lines in Philadelphia, Boston and Charlotte, US Airways will waive ticketing fees and change fees at the airport. If you would prefer not to travel on March 4-March 7, 2007, we will waive change fees and rebook you on an available flight the following day.




Lee
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
cityguy
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 3:12 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:31 pm

Quoting XJramper (Reply 1):
Tell me how you would have done it differently? Really. I would love to know.

This is one reason why I post rarely-to many people get their backs up with an "Alpha male" attitude...but since you ask:

The problems are PHL are legendary-LUGGAGE staffing, facilities, morale, aircraft cleanliness, ability to deal with clients..the lists on...I would have employed people who can and plan for that to minimize the problems. Communicate with the public in an honest way. Acknowledge your problems. Train your staff to be client centric.

Everything was skimped on to make sure a profit was turned and the Execs got paid. Problems only got solved AFTER the public had enough and solutions were forced and the airline had enough bad press. Investment in the business happened way to LATE.

As for the current problems....lack of planning, testing and ineffective rollout. Having just completed a 55M software integration project with a 98% success rate-I have some experience here.
 
xjramper
Posts: 2318
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 1:10 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:41 pm

Quoting Cityguy (Reply 4):
Communicate with the public in an honest way. Acknowledge your problems.

They said there was going to be delays due to this exact problem.

Quoting Cityguy (Reply 4):
Acknowledge your problems. Train your staff to be client centric.

Maybe I just see a different side of US Airways, but I have to tell you I have flown thru PHL, DCA, and CLT and I have to tell you that I have run into two people that would rather have stepped on my face than look at it. Out of the many times I have flown thru there, thats pretty incredible.

XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
flyboyaz
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 11:32 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:48 pm

Overall it was a success. The problems are isolated..granted they are in our major hubs..but the system is running smoothly everyplace else. Most of the west cities had no problems at all. Honestly I was expecting worse....I'm suprised at how well it worked!

At least there were no cancellations as a result....unlike when Delta/Comair had the computer problem a year ago or so....they cancelled everything....I'd call that a worse mess.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
WMUPilot
Posts: 1428
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RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:54 pm

Welcome to the modern computer world. Computer hiccups are an almost common occurrence. I really wouldn't call this a meltdown but just a major inconvenience.
JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
 
cityguy
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 3:12 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:00 pm

Quoting Flyboyaz (Reply 6):
Overall it was a success

I do appreciate the fact that it was a success somwhere-but the major hub cities and the flat out failure there makes this a failure IMHO.

I truly believe that Parker thought he could handle this merger and the challenges of PHL ....but his ego got in the way. I am a FF and I can tell you with 100% certainty that PHL is only marginally better in the last few months. Yes, nicer terminal carpeting...

Still.....filthy aircraft, long waits on the ramp while they look for a marshal to get us to the gate, then another wait to find an agent to drive the jetway....etc....broken jetways are a recent problem ( I have see this 3x in the last 2 weeks)..ehh..the list just goes on...

I will say I DID get my luggage in less than an hour 2 weeks ago.
 
atlaaron
Posts: 973
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:30 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:16 pm

Quoting Micstatic (Reply 2):
For one, it is evident that their IT department skimped on testing.

That is correct. I work in IBM software and there are plenty of tools out there that would have modeled and tested outcomes.
 
Holidaycharter
Posts: 161
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:46 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:20 pm

Dear US Airways Customers,
This past weekend, as many of you know, we reached a milestone in our integration. Specifically, we merged the two reservation systems of the former America West Airlines and US Airways onto one platform. While this was a significant achievement and required extraordinary preparation work among all departments, especially our Information Technology team, the conversion has not been without its share of challenges.

Some of our customers, in particular those located at our hubs in Charlotte and Philadelphia, have experienced longer than normal wait times. This is because the check-in kiosks at some isolated airports did not convert over smoothly and even tonight, are not yet fully functioning. Worse still, some customers had their travel plans disrupted as a result, and this is not the kind of service we want to provide. Even though the disruption impacted a relatively small number of people, the fact is, if one person has a bad experience on our airline as a result of our conversion to one system, it is one too many.

With that, and on behalf of our 37,000 employees, we apologize for the inconvenience any of our customers may have experienced as a result of this weekend’s migration. Although the best-laid plans can sometimes go awry, our team is working very hard to get the kiosks back up and functioning. In the meantime, we have dispatched additional teams of employees to our hubs where the kiosk issues continue and our Information Technology team continues to work around the clock to troubleshoot the sporadic issues we continue to experience with the airport kiosks.

This letter would not be complete if I didn’t also note that this issue has also impacted our frontline employees, who are doing a fantastic job of learning a new system while dealing with the absence of automated check-in kiosks at the above-mentioned airports. Our hats are off to them and our entire company is really proud of the way all of the various departments across US Airways have pulled together to get our customers where they need to go, with their bags, and on-time.

We appreciate your patience and will continue to update you with our progress if the issue is not identified and resolved quickly, and wait times once again escalate. Based on our progress today, I don’t anticipate this being the case.

Again, our apologies and on behalf of the 37,000 employees of US Airways, thank you for your continued business
 
SHUPirate1
Posts: 3428
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:53 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:47 pm

Quoting Cityguy (Thread starter):
Parker and his Philadelphia based crew just keep screwing this up!

Ummm...Parker's "crew" is Tempe, Arizona-based.
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
cityguy
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 3:12 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:23 am

Quoting SHUPirate1 (Reply 11):
Ummm...Parker's "crew" is Tempe, Arizona-based.

He is the CEO.

He is 100% responsible the end of the day.

He owns the placement of the staff to advance his objectives.

Period.

PHX based?..so what?
 
Sean-SAN-
Posts: 691
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2002 4:02 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:30 am

Anyone who has access to the US Airways internal job postings can see that they pay IT staff extremely low compared to market rates... Programmer and IT position reqs are always open... I mean, why work as a programmer for US Airways making 48k when you can make double somewhere else? You'll be too busy to travel anyways... It's no wonder their website looks like something from the 1990's and often breaks, and the reservation changeover took so long. Someone needs to refresh Doug that saving a penny that will cost a dollar later is not a wise business strategy.
 
isitsafenow
Posts: 3413
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:22 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:32 am

As the musical said, "there's trouble in "River City" (USAirways/America West at PHX). Things aren't as good as many think. Employees are still restless and are at odds with each other(east vs west).
Mechanics may have a new contract in 2009, so say management.
safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
richierich
Posts: 3289
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:48 am

Quoting WMUPilot (Reply 7):
Welcome to the modern computer world. Computer hiccups are an almost common occurrence. I really wouldn't call this a meltdown but just a major inconvenience.

100% agreed. It is unfortunate for US that they had some IT difficulties but these things happen.

Quoting ATLAaron (Reply 9):
That is correct. I work in IBM software and there are plenty of tools out there that would have modeled and tested outcomes.

I'd have expected somebody with a computer background to be more sympathetic. In my experience, rolling out new software of any kind is rarely a seamless operation.

Quoting Cityguy (Reply 12):
He is the CEO.

He is 100% responsible the end of the day.

He's also more worried about his time in the Big House!!  Wink
None shall pass!!!!
 
Junction
Posts: 489
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:50 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:53 am

If it was only the kiosks that wouldn’t work, I still don’t see what the big deal was. Most people won’t use them anyway until someone comes to help them even on the best of days. Why would there be longer lines just because everyone had to wait for help (like usual)?
I think this had more to do with the fact PHL and the other US east cities had to go live with a whole new check-in protocol in general much different from the old system. They can blame the kiosks, but this is no different then anytime any airline switches reservation systems. Remember NW moving to Worldspan, and the old US moving to Sabre? What about People Express and Frontier moving to the CO system? This pales in comparison. It’s nothing new. Been there – done that.
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:06 am

Come to think of it, my girlfriend and I fly out of PHL this Saturday... Man I hope this thing doesn't happen when we leave!

As far as using this to exploit Parker as to why he should never have been a CEO for US or any CEO of any corporation, period, such statements are utterly rediculous. I saw another post relating to his DUI in some form. That is water under the bridge to begin with and not even related to this topic. They integrated, or tried to integrate the check-in systems, it didn't exactly go through without a hitch, something went wrong. They're trying to rectify the situation. That is that...

Oh, and for the record, I wouldn't call this a meltdown. Something that could cripple the airline, like somebody in management embezzling corporate funds or some other major occurrance of the sort, something that could jeopordize the very existance of the airline, that I would call a "melt down..." Will US wind up in a major precarious situation because of some faulty kiosks? I doubt it, really...

[Edited 2007-03-06 17:13:23]
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
B6sFinest
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:34 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:12 am

What gets me about this is theres long lines at PHL, tempers flaring, an airline which should have prepared better than this and yet the media hardly mentions it, if at all. Jetblue's problem was because of WEATHER, though we should have been more prepared and all of the Jetblue haters and the media trashed us to know end. What a joke...
Got Blue?
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:18 am

Quoting B6sFinest (Reply 18):
What gets me about this is theres long lines at PHL, tempers flaring, an airline which should have prepared better than this and yet the media hardly mentions it, if at all. Jetblue's problem was because of WEATHER, though we should have been more prepared and all of the Jetblue haters and the media trashed us to know end. What a joke...

I see your point. What you're saying is pretty much that the media seems biased in favor of US and not so in favor of B6. Am I right? Although, the articles in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Post-Gazette mentioned that. According to those articles, people waited in check-in lines for at least 2 hours! People were really fed-up
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:24 am

Quoting Cityguy (Thread starter):
SAC Sunday.....

I take it you mean SMF.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
ejmmsu
Posts: 1647
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 6:05 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:38 am

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 3):
At least the airline is trying to fix the problem

What.. ??!! You mean they aren't going to pretend the problem doesn't exist... and let things stay this way forever ! ?

How Special !!!! They have a problem and they are trying to fix it. What a great airline !
"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
 
F9Animal
Posts: 3650
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:52 am

Quoting Cityguy (Thread starter):
Not sure if anyone has caught this, but the deep problems of the integration continue-there are massive delays and long lines at PHL due to the Kiosks NOT working-STILL. People missing flights and tempers flaring.

Parker and his Philadelphia based crew just keep screwing this up! Its amazing..I DO understand complex software integration, but this is bad. I have friends and colleagues who have just cancelled trips outright than deal with this.

The website is SLLLOOOOOWWWWW as well.

I have to go to PHX and then to SAC Sunday.....yikes.

and Parker thought he could deal with a Delta buyout?

Oh come on now. Seriously, this is nothing. When F9 went to SABRE, the first few days were full of cancellations and problems with the conversion. What US is doing is no small task, and it was bound to happen with the integration of the CRS systems. Give them some breathing room!  Smile
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
COERJ145
Posts: 1140
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:22 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:55 am

Anyone if BOS still is having problems? My mom's flying out tomorrow on US(operated by America West) from there.
 
HPRamper
Posts: 4595
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 4:22 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:58 am

Did we really need another thread for this? Is someone going to start a new one every day?
 
cityguy
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 3:12 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:02 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 21):
take it you mean SMF.

Yes..thanks!! Big grin
 
style
Posts: 208
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:40 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:10 am

Quoting Sean-SAN- (Reply 13):
Someone needs to refresh Doug that saving a penny that will cost a dollar later is not a wise business strategy.

If only everyone thought like this. In the end they always end up paying more.
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:37 am

Um, in migrating over a hundred stations to a new platform, the kiosks don't work in 3 of them?

Sounds like a pretty successful migration with a few lingering bugs.

Good job to the no doubt overworked US IT Team!

NS
 
ejmmsu
Posts: 1647
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 6:05 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:42 am

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 28):
Um, in migrating over a hundred stations to a new platform, the kiosks don't work in 3 of them?

The kiosks don't work in any of the US east stations. However, its the big stations that have the highest traffic, so they are the ones getting the significant delays.
"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
 
PiedmontINT
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 8:12 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:55 am

Quoting Cityguy (Reply 4):

My thoughts exactly top to bottom.

With a system of the magnitude and complexity of 2 major airlines coming together, integrating two completely different res systems is a monumental task and if not properly tested and planned out, meltdowns like this can happen. Even when not merging two systems, computer res systems are vulnerable and can come crashing down, ala FL and Comair recently...

Quoting Cityguy (Reply 4):
This is one reason why I post rarely-to many people get their backs up with an "Alpha male" attitude...

My reasoning for not posting more either.. welcome to my RR list
 
S5FA170
Posts: 528
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 3:04 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:59 am

Quoting B6sFinest (Reply 18):
Jetblue's problem was because of WEATHER, though we should have been more prepared and all of the Jetblue haters and the media trashed us to know end. What a joke...

People expect this kind of behavior from USAirways. Thats the difference.

If its any consolation, when my flight landed in PHL from IAH last Friday at 12:15am, their was no jetway driver available to bring the jetway to our airplane. We were one of about 5 aircraft waiting on a jetway driver. A mainline captain got on the radio and "Declared an emergency" because "passengers were rioting" in his cabin because they couldn't get off. This delayed us even further in getting a jetway driver. I had a woman taking pictures with her cellphone and telling me she was sending them into USA Today. Maybe she will.

[Edited 2007-03-06 19:02:20]
Prepare doors for departure and cross-check.
 
jmc1975
Posts: 2895
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2000 10:57 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:08 am

I suggest deletion of the thread. It's factually wrong and is simply utter poppycock.
.......
 
cityguy
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 3:12 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:11 am

Quoting PiedmontINT (Reply 30):
My reasoning for not posting more either.. welcome to my RR list

Many thanks sir....

CG
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:15 am

Quoting Cityguy (Thread starter):
and Parker thought he could deal with a Delta buyout?

The thread should have been deleted on this comment alone. Off topic and irrelevent.

I'll leave the thread because it has value, and US is having serious issues, however:

The next off topic comment earns the poster a vacation.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
airtran717
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:48 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:20 am

Quoting PiedmontINT (Reply 29):
Quoting Cityguy (Reply 4):
This is one reason why I post rarely-to many people get their backs up with an "Alpha male" attitude...

My reasoning for not posting more either.. welcome to my RR list

I couldn't agree more. If half the people posting here were worth half of what they THOUGHT they were worth...

717
 
scramjetter
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:57 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:33 am

Quoting ATLAaron (Reply 9):
Quoting Micstatic (Reply 2):
For one, it is evident that their IT department skimped on testing.

That is correct. I work in IBM software and there are plenty of tools out there that would have modeled and tested outcomes.

Or maybe IT did a great regression test, that failed, and were told to go ahead anyway with deployment. Ever been told that the solution is unaffordable? The bag crisis incidents may paint a picture that spills over into other departments.
 
USAIRA330
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 4:38 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:45 am

Quoting Cityguy (Thread starter):
Parker and his Philadelphia based crew just keep screwing this up! Its amazing..I DO understand complex software integration, but this is bad. I have friends and colleagues who have just cancelled trips outright than deal with this.

what? do you think you could do so much better?
 
deltadude
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:53 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:53 am

Quoting Micstatic (Reply 2):

For one, it is evident that their IT department skimped on testing.

Man, let me tell you something, I'm in IT. I can't imagine the complexity of their systems and all the integration that has to take place. Sometimes you can't test things adequetely because they are production systems. Also, problems crop up when you pull the trigger. Once the trigger is pulled, you can't go back because you are capturing realtime data. You have to just put out fires as you go along.

As much as I think Parker and his crew are a bunch of scumbags....you have to give their IT a big cookie for making this massive integration happen in the first place. Image the legacy systems in place from way back in the Piedmont days and such.....what a mess.
 
ejmmsu
Posts: 1647
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 6:05 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:15 am

I seem to see two camps......

(1) The IT problems are beyond normal, and are indicative of subpar IT planning and implementation.

(2) Big problems like this are normal in such large IT operations such as this one.

US Airways is guilty no matter what. If the reason is (1), then US is guilty of having a subpar IT group. If the reason is (2), then US is guilty of knowing problems would arise and didn't properly prepare for it.
"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
 
malaysia
Posts: 2615
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 1999 3:26 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:52 am

Quoting Ejmmsu (Reply 39):
US Airways is guilty no matter what. If the reason is (1), then US is guilty of having a subpar IT group. If the reason is (2), then US is guilty of knowing problems would arise and didn't properly prepare for it.

Maybe AA put in Digital Rights Management on the US SABRE terminals and once they switched to SHARES, they stopped working.  Big grin
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
 
ScottB
Posts: 5448
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:52 am

Quoting Deltadude (Reply 38):
Image the legacy systems in place from way back in the Piedmont days and such.....what a mess.

For the most part, the legacy systems that had been in place from Piedmont, Allegheny, etc. were phased out in 1999 when most (or all?) of the company (US Airways) was switched over to SABRE. It was well-known that a number of the legacy applications wouldn't be Y2K-compliant, so they moved to a platform which would be.

Quoting Deltadude (Reply 38):
Sometimes you can't test things adequetely because they are production systems.

Perhaps, but you'd imagine that they'd try to overstaff the ticket counters and gates for at least a day or two after the transition -- exactly because things like this will happen. You staff for the assumption that the migration failed and everything has to be done by hand -- that way, you don't get the two-plus hour waits, flights leaving without passengers, pictures of terminals jammed with passengers waiting in line, negative newspaper articles, etc. If everything succeeds, you have some extra people standing around for a couple of days. Big deal.

It also boggles the mind that all the East kiosks seem to have failed to come up. That points to a serious failure in testing.

The track record for the Tempe-based management team with respect to IT integration was already bad, given the disastrous web site migration.
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15080
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:36 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:10 am

Quoting Deltadude (Reply 38):
I can't imagine the complexity of their systems and all the integration that has to take place. Sometimes you can't test things adequetely because they are production systems. Also, problems crop up when you pull the trigger. Once the trigger is pulled, you can't go back because you are capturing realtime data. You have to just put out fires as you go along.

Having worked on some huge CRS migrations (BA, QF) as well as lots of smaller ones (TA, S3, CU, LO, JU, KC), there's an answer to both your points. You HAVE to test, and you DO test - again and again, until you get it right. And you ALWAYS have a fallback plan. Always. And you rehearse the fallback plan too. We must have run about 5 full data migration rehearsals and 2 full worldwide cutover rehearsals for both BA and QF, and everything had to be spot-on perfect before we got the green light to go for the real cutover. It takes time and it costs money, but you can't do it any other way without seriously endangering your business. BA had over 2 million bookings, something like 50,000 workstations in 60 countries, not to mention about a million printers to migrate, and we did it with a 90 minute outage, with NO (count 'em, zero !) operational delays due to the migration on the first day post-cutover. Same sort of thing with QF, 1.4 million PNR's and 19 hosted carriers on 8 seperate host partitions, scattered across the outback and the South Pacific - it wasn't easy, but we got it done.

Still, I know its not easy, and you can never rest on your laurels - each migration is totally different from all the others, but you learn and improve every time. Admittedly, it is tough to test impacted applications (hell, it's tough FINDING them all in a big airline !), but CUSS kiosks are not a small detail - not quite the same as a small neglected back-office robotic application someone overlooked. I'm astonished this didn't turn up in the cutover rehearsals.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
bakersdozen
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:24 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:33 am

I'm flying US Airways tomorrow from Buffalo connecting in Charlotte and onward. Anyone in the know have any idea if this computer system problem is holding stuff up on Charlotte that would delay my connection there?
 
VS11
Posts: 880
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2001 6:34 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:58 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 43):
Having worked on some huge CRS migrations (BA, QF) as well as lots of smaller ones (TA, S3, CU, LO, JU, KC), there's an answer to both your points

Well, not to undermine your work, migrating from one system to another within the same airline is not the same as integrating two separate systems into one - at least the sources of possible problems are twice as many.

I work in IT and in fact manage a database system (which is an intergation from 3 different ones), and while the comparison of the projects is not even conceivable, I can tell that people (users) these days have way too high expectations and do not realize the complexity of integrating different systems.

With new software in particular, regardless of how much testing you do, you are always bound to have problems -- look at microsoft, with the deep pockets they have, they are always having problems with every single new release.

From what I read, it seems that the integration of the two systems was complete but it was the kiosks that created the problems. Probably, the transition was not a wild success but a meltdown it is not.
 
ILOVEA340
Posts: 2064
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 1999 9:49 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:14 am

As an personwho works with this new system daily I can say that this went 10 times as smoothly as our wildest imaginations. To begin, we were expecting a system outage for the better part of a day, and were told to have a plan for a 2 day outage... the outage ultinmately lasted about 90min. The year+ of contingency planning and testing certainly showed its worth. Compare this to F9's switch to sabre... they had 1/10th the operation and about 10 times the problems.

The only this that comes to mind is that we should perhaps have authorized our flight to run below capacity for a day or two but then again, that doesn;t really make much economic sense.

All in all everyone from Tach to frontline agents have done a tremendous job... Please understand, I am quite critical on many fronts when it comes to US operations, but this was one of those select fields that just seemed to work better than we ever could have expected.
 
Caspian27
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:48 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:31 am

I don't have time to actually look at many of the member profiles of the posters on this thread, but I'd be surprised if the people who are most upset about this actually work for an airline. If they did, they'd know how challenging the reality of airline ops are; what pax see on the outside as simple, in reality has many, many levels of people and technology working around the clock to make it go as smoothly as possible. Problems happen all the time. A few weeks ago I couldn't jumpseat to work because CASS had gone down on our servers for no apparent reason. Heck, airline or not, any major systems integration is going to be difficult. Honestly both SABRE and QIK SHARES are like government secrets to me, I don't care how they work.

The reality is, as many other knowledgeable posters have pointed out, merging complex computer systems and records is going to have some issues no matter how good the prior planning was. In light of that, problems should be expected.

C27
Meanwhile, somewhere 35,000 ft above your head...
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15080
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:36 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:43 am

Quoting VS11 (Reply 46):
Well, not to undermine your work, migrating from one system to another within the same airline is not the same as integrating two separate systems into one - at least the sources of possible problems are twice as many.

Good point - it's debatable whether merging one half of an airline onto the other's existing system is trickier than a full migration - after all, half the airline is virtually unaffected. I also worked on the QF migration to Qube, where the domestic operation was migrating from TAARSAN and the International operation was migrating from QANTAM. It was a two-phase migration, with Res/Inv and International DCS migrating in November 96, and domestic DCS migrating in about February 97. It was a very successful migration, not without hiccups but there were no significant flight delays as far as I recall. QF decided against selecting one or other of their existing systems as the single system for both international and domestic, precisely because of the problems of adapting one system to both operations. Instead, they chose a 3rd solution, BA's RTZ system, and opted to migrate both operations. Perhaps US should have done the same, after all neither SHARES nor Sabre are what you might call 21st century technology  Smile
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
hangarrat
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:24 pm

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:46 am

From someone who actually went through this Monday morning, I have to say US Airways staff were coping and handled my situation pretty well. I fly PHL-PIT every couple of months on the same flight leaving my house at oh-dark thirty, getting to the airport about an hour ahead of the 6:30 pushback and relaxing a little before boarding.

I arrived this Monday at a little after 5:30 due to a new policy at my remote parking area of filling the entire van before heading to the terminal. It looked like the day before Thanksgiving -- lines out the door.

By the time I got to a checkin desk, I had about 20 mins before takeoff. To their credit, US thought creatively, issuing a boarding pass for a later PIT flight to get me through security and on to the plane with a back up plan in case I did miss it. I made the gate and wasn't even the last aboard. To boot, I got a seat in an exit row.

TSA is another story. It never fails to amaze me how they seem to have five guys available to stand around and BS about stereo systems and video games when there are checkpoints closed and a line around the corner and out of sight.
Spell check is a false dog
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:50 am

There was no meltdown. Period.

The kiosks not working hardly implies a catastrophic system failure. We did fine for 75 years before them .

NS
 
Tango-Bravo
Posts: 2887
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: USAirways Meltdown!

Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:53 am

Quoting Cityguy (Thread starter):
The website is SLLLOOOOOWWWWW as well.

You mean even slllllooooowwwwer than it invariably was before the two systems were (supposedly) fully integrated?