Australian airline Virgin Blue announced over the weekend that it will be "reverting" to its primary operating system beginning tomorrow. Virgin's CEO John Borghetti said that the problems with its reservation and check-in system that disrupted the travel of over 50,000 of its passengers last week have been identified and are now solved. To implement the changes, the reservation and check-in system needs to be "rebooted" - although Virgin Blue terms the exercise an "upgrade."
Online and telephone reservations services will be unavailable from 2200 AEST today until 0500 AEST on Thursday, 7 October. Passengers will not be able to make new bookings or change or cancel an existing booking while our reservation systems are off-line.
All passengers will need to check-in at the airport, and are being advised to arrive at the airport two hours before the scheduled departure for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.
Virgin Blue says all of its flights are scheduled to fly, and hopes the "upgrade" doesn't cause any major delays other than in check-in.
It will be interesting to see how much compensation Virgin Blue will demand from Navitaire which operates Virgin's reservation and check-in system. Too bad Virgin Blue passengers can't demand compensation from it as well.
Update 06 October 2010 1000 EST:
A Sydney Morning Herald story today says that the "upgrade" went smoothly and more quickly than expected. However, 16 Virgin flights were cancelled and the passengers had to be placed onto other flights.
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.