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Several news outlets (here and here) are reporting that the passenger check-in system for United Airlines at Chicago O'Hare airport malfunctioned around 0400 CDT this morning and did not come completely back on-line until 1040 CDT.

Given that: (a) today is the start of the 4th of July holiday weekend in the US, (b) O'Hare is the second busiest airport in the world, and (c) United Airlines is O'Hare's largest tenant, things were a mess at the airport this morning to say the least. 

As a result of the computer crash, United ticket agents had to try and check-in outbound passengers by hand (up to 1,000 people stood in check-in lines at one point).

Also, arrving United planes had to sit on the tarmac because United's terminal gates were occupied by delayed departing flights.

In addition, several United flights ended up having to be canceled (interestingly, they did not follow British Airways' example).

Knock-on effects are expected all day long.

In a bit of coincidental news, there was a story in ComputerWeekly just yesterday about airlines making massive spending cuts in their IT budgets to the lowest levels since 2002.

The Conversation (0)

Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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