Sunday, September 26, 2010

I ain't no Virgin

Ha, I know all about computers. Sometimes they go wrong. Much to R's chagrin I kept our old working bits box in the spare room wardrobe until he became sick of it taking up space, so I made space in my own wardrobe and moved it there. It is not so critical now, since he has a laptop, but I kept it as a spare in case this one breaks down. No, not if, when. I know it will one day, and I will get the old one out and it will work. You won't even notice a gap in blog posts or emails.

As I said, I know all I need to know about computers, that is they are not trustworthy, and that is why I keep the old one as a spare and I back stuffs up very often.

Not so our airlines who seem to know less about computers than I do. Australia's Virgin Airline's computerised check in system went down today and has and still is causing massive inconvenience to tens of thousands of people.

I recall writing something similar in the past about another local airline when their system went down.

Again I say, I know all about computers and if you need to stay online without interruption, you need another computer for when yours breaks down. If I was really serious I would have another internet line, connected to another phone system, connected to another isp. If millions of dollars depended on it, I would certainly do something along these lines. If the check in system went down, I would just switch over to the other back up one. It just can't be too hard.


  1. One of my friends is currently stuck in Melbs trying to return to Sydney. VB have just checked her into a hotel for the night, which she's happy with, but she's not so happy that she'll probably lose pay tomorrow.

  2. I wonder if Fen's friend can also claim on loss of wages? Not sure there.
    It is amazing our technology, and it is amazing that, as you say Andrew, there was no back up system there.. strange.

  3. I suppose not having access to back up systems is one of the ways they save costs in order to produce cheaper fares.

    When it unravels, it unravels an awfully long way.

  4. My wifey and I were stuck in the previously mentioned similar event involving Jetstar. We were delayed several hours, but I was most thankful to be flying from Melbourne to Launceston - people heading in the other direction had to wait over night, mostly at their own expense and at the mercy of the airline.

    I'm also perplexed as to why Virgin didn't learn from Jetstar's experience.

  5. in the olden days of commercial jet travel airline tickets had a lot of red print in the smallest font, covering their non-responsibility in a wide variety of eventualities.

    WE all seem to think getting the best desired result is A Right, when really it is just luck.

    Do you know that AustraliaPost officially take no responsibility for anything that does or does not happen with any letter we foolishly consign to a mailing box?
    Unless it is Registered.
    If we all Registered Everything, the country would grind to a halt.

    SOFTWARE is a mysterious gift from the gods, and can go crazy at any time. Take it not for granted.

  6. Fen, tell her that she should not be brushed off with a free Virgin travel voucher.

    Cazzie, if she took it to court, most likely, but who can do that? Seems there was a back up system, learnt tonight, but it failed. Rather like hospital power back up generators failing when power goes off. It happens.

    Victor, as above, there was back up, but it too failed. It would cost more to have the IT in house, but surely a better option.

    Yes Me. Virgin now says it will never happen again, yet they did not take note from the Jetstar failure!

    Em Stacks, you are right about Aus Post not taking responsibility, but never take what you see at face value. You push, you moan and you complain and threaten. Yes, software is not reliable, but it a lot better than it used to be.