United’s operations are running normally today following yesterday’s network outage. The outage lasted approximately two hours, and as a result we experienced 580 delays and nine cancellations. (8 yesterday, 1 residual today). The outage was caused when a piece of communication equipment in one of our data centers failed and disabled communications with our airports and web site. We have fully redundant systems and we are working with the manufacturers to determine why the backup equipment did not work as it was supposed to.
As you may have seen, when United’s network went down, social media and news channels squealed about hours-long waits, hand-written boarding passes, and armies of angry passengers vowing “I’ll never fly United again!”
But just how bad was it out there? In my experience, network outages do happen (at all airlines), and thankfully not all that frequently. To me, this outage was equivalent to a bad storm hitting a major hub– yes, some people were late, but everyone eventually got to their home or hotel. United played nice by offering waivers for travelers who had to change plans because of it. But I don’t think it was the complete and total meltdown as portrayed by many media outlets.
Or was it? Do travelers and the media tend to overreact to events like this? Or was the network outage indicative of deeper problems at United? Please leave your comments below.
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