The check-in systems failure of Virgin Blue airlines delayed hundreds of flights and affected thousands of passengers across the country. Although the situation is under control, long term effects will be faced by parties to the incident.

Virgin Blue’s check-in systems are back up and running, announced the airline after it experienced another short disruption in the systems this morning at 5:00 am local time which, as per the sources, caused cancellation of two domestic flights. The airline’s press release as at 1600 hours on its website stated that “the Virgin Blue Group of Airlines this morning experienced a slowdown of its network at the start of the day which caused some consequential delays”. The airline reveals that the two engineering issues were responsible for the short outage of the systems and the passengers of the two cancelled domestic flights have been re-accommodated on other flights which have already departed.

Airline sources described problem in the morning as a minor glitch which emerged during some tests being run on the check-in systems. The situation has been controlled and technical issues resolved and the airline staffs are working on the backlog of passengers affected by the delay in flights.

The airline further advised its guests to use web check-in on its website, if possible and reach the airport as normal and as per the scheduled departure time of their flights.

Earlier on Sunday, the airline which is the second biggest airline of the country and is popular for operating cheap flights, faced severe outage due to technical faults in its check-in facility provided by Navitaire New Skies system which reportedly experienced a hardware failure. The failure had forced the airline to switch to manual check-in.

Airline’s CEO John Borghetti made an apology for the cancellations this morning as well as the inconvenience to the guests due to major delays over the weekend.

Navitaire may face legal action

Reports state that Mr Borghetti has plans to see John Dabkowski, Managing Director of Navitaire on 30th September 2010 to discuss the issue. Navitaire, which is a subsidiary of US technology giant Accenture and has a number of low cost carriers and emerging airlines around the world as their clientele, is clearly being held responsible for the check-in disaster which may lead to a multi million dollar payout. Mr. Borghetti indicated that the carrier is planning to seek compensation for the failure. Media reports also quoted Andrew David, Virgin Blue group’s executive as stating that the airline is considering legal action against Navitaire for the disaster which despite being under control today had severely paralysed the airline’s functioning over the weekend.

Extent of Outage

A technical glitch on September 26 2010 which caused malfunctioning of the Virgin Blue check- in system causing hundreds of flight delays leaving passengers stranded at airports across the country. The number of the passengers affected runs in thousands as per media reports flashed in the news papers and on the internet across the country and the globe. Sources stated some of the Virgin Pacific international flights were also affected by the system’s failure.

The incident had a widespread affect in that the airline’s check-in staff nationwide had to manage check-ins as well as cancellations manually. Many travelers had to spend two nights stranded following the turmoil. Scores of passengers were forced to find themselves hotel accommodations due to uncertainty about the restoration of the check-in system and arrangement of the alternative flights. The situation improved yesterday when at 4 am the airline finally did not have any flights listed as cancelled, sources report. The airline announced and remained determined in finding alternative flights for passengers who remained affected over the weekend.

The outage kept Virgin Blue’s check-in staff at airports and executives nationwide in action for the entire length of the systems meltdown. The customers with cancelled flights were advised to get in touch with the customer service centre which reported longer than usual wait time. The airline continuously updated important information on its website for the passengers to access all the latest developments there.

Richard Branson Apologised

Richard Branson, the owner of the Virgin Group has apologized for the check-in chaos and described the outage period as a terrible 24 hours with the computer system going down.

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