Tech Glitch Creates Delays for Airports, Airlines and Passengers

Major airlines across the globe were hit briefly by problems on computer systems Thursday that caused minor delays at airports because of a problem in a system with Amadeus a travel technology company located in Spain.

Amadeus operates global booking systems for travel and offers airlines a check-in service. It said it had suffered a problem with its network Thursday which caused disruption to some systems and was busy working to fix it.

An Amadeus spokesperson said that action was ongoing with al services gradually coming back online. Airports across the globe said disruptions were limited.

An incident that was very similar took pace during April, as computer issues for a short time prevented airlines including France-KLM and Lufthansa, from boarding their passengers one night.

Amadeus shares fell 1.3% in morning trading across Europe.

Fraport, the airport operator in Frankfurt, said that Lufthansa, the largest German carrier and its partner airlines were hit by the problem for 30 minutes during Thursday morning, which prevented any bags from being checked, but said that issues was resolved.

Gatwick Airport in London said that airlines there had a few brief issues, but operations were back to normal.

A spokesperson for Groupe ADP, the operator and manager of over a dozen different airports in the Paris area, confirmed that airlines that used the Amadeus system were affected at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in France’s capital city.

The spokesperson said the failure was worldwide for the Amadeus system and no one airport was hit any harder than another, and the incident lasted just a couple of minutes said the spokesperson for the airport in Paris. He added that Air France, the national carrier, had been amongst the airlines that use Amadeus.

A spokesperson in Washington for Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced that Southwest Airlines had reported having a computer issue that caused minor delays in that Reagan National Airport. The delays were as long as 15 minutes in length but at the current time no other incidents had been reported at that airport or Dulles.

Computer glitches have hit airlines and airports a number of times over the past few years and analysts say that many of the ticketing systems for airlines as well as other systems they use are very old and cannot at times keep up with demand.

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