Various news outlets are reporting that Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe’s second-largest which operates about 1,000 flights per day, has been suffering a world-wide reservation system problem. According to this story by Bloomberg News, the problem started 0340 German time after a routine software update went awry.
The problem, which has cause some flights to be canceled in Europe and delayed other services worldwide was probably due to a memory error in the operating system, a Lufthansa spokesperson told Bloomberg News.
Bloomberg quoted the Lufthansa spokesperson as saying,
"It’s unclear how long the problem will persist, but we expect the effects to lessen by the hour, By tonight we should have all servers online again and expect to return to a normal flight schedule by tomorrow morning."
Boarding passes were having to be filled out by hand, and ground crews have had to check all luggage manually to ensure the required security standards are being met.
A similar reservation meltdown happened in 2004.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.