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What does IAG use for communication? Tin cans and string connected to an abacus?

  • 10-09-2022 7:16pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭Snickers Man

    Not sure which is the most appropriate forum for this. Hoping to get a response from some techies who might know what they're talking about but no really obvious subforum in the Technology and Internet section so I'm trying here first.

    What the hell does International Airlines Group (IAG) the airline conglomerate that encompasses British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia among others use for its IT systems? All Aer Lingus traffic from Dublin to Europe today was cancelled due to an IT systems failure, or as the company put it "a major break in connectivity" at its UK-based network provider as a result of which its "cloud-based systems enabling check-in, boarding and our website are currently unavailable." The provider has not been able to tell the airline when the problem will be rectified.

    Some people may remember back in 2017 a major issue with British Airways' data centre (British Airways IT failure caused by 'uncontrolled return of power' | British Airways | The Guardian) which left that airline unable to load passengers on to its flights for several days. is this to become the new norm for "the world's favourite airline" and its partners?

    What on earth is going on? Is this part of the great power shortage that various Cassandras have been talking about for some months? Are data centres, here and around Europe, just demanding more power from the grid than is currently available? If it is doing this to such mission-critical systems as flight-control computers what is going to happen this winter with the Russians cutting off the gas, and the prospect of power rationing a serious possibility?

    How can a major network suffer a "break in connectivity" serious enough to strand an entire country for a weekend? Wasn't the Internet all about robust guaranteed service enabled by oodles of alterative routes making a complete connectivity breakdown an impossibility? Or were we just being spun a line by evil companies taking advantage of layperson journalists?

    What should we fear next?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,944 ✭✭✭Wossack

    More likely related to them laying off IT and support staff during covid and not been able to hire back faster then the uptick in travellers

  • Registered Users Posts: 42,505 ✭✭✭✭SEPT 23 1989

    Somebody was testing the waters

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,002 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

    Ok, so base internet protocol are not single point of failure, and if one path is down another can be found and used.

    But if the underlying physical network does not have an alternate route ... or alternate routes were not paid for or tested .. failure.

    On top of that you have applications which can have so many single points of failures you'd be shocked. There are many protocols, people, teams keeping the whole show on the road.

    To keep things highly available costs a lot of money. So perhaps, there was some cost cutting at play.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,169 ✭✭✭Tow

    The cloud aka using other people's computers.

    Worse has happened, a few years ago a JCB went through the power cable into Dublin Airports control tower. The tower switched over to batteries, the generator started which shorted out the batteries and generator. They has to resort to using walkie-talkies to talk to the aircraft.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 382 ✭✭Psychedelic Hedgehog

    Could have been worse, I remember a story from over 30 years ago where a bunch of clowns took out the tower at Dulles airport with some chainsaws...

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,273 ✭✭✭xxxxxxl

    When will these large corporations learn. Outsourcing IT is a terrible Idea. You don't save money by having to rehire everyone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,862 ✭✭✭joseywhales

    Yeah they also cancelled flights to Boston but for some reason they won't admit that in their statements. Its like pulling teeth. Won't admit it happened, told people to go home, told people to rebook their own flights and they'll be refunded later.( Not clear this is true if you pay out over a grand with another airline). They boarded the Boston flight eventually and then cancelled it because the crew times out(over allowed hours). But apparently it never happened, only UK and Europe cancellations and go ahead there and pay out of pocket for another flight and we will refund you later...absolute spoofers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,979 ✭✭✭Stovepipe

    IAG basically compelled EI to move it's entire booking/ticketing/flight planning/rostering system offshore so if it's not in London, it's outsourced to India, so when the inevitable happens, manual ticketing is no longer available and the operational side of the airline fell to bits in minutes. EI didnt cover themselves in glory on the ground as hundreds of pax were left uninformed and were standing at their gates, waiting to go and the aircraft had not returned from their outstations abroad. The DAA screens were showing EI flights as cancelled yet EI were still telling people to wait at the gates. It was a shitstorm and a lot of it is down to IAG's insistence that EI move everything abroad. The pilots and cabin crew actively in their aircraft were left clueless and the staff were looking at FlightRadar to tell them where the aircraft were. Staff got a lot of abuse from pax but the staff were left as clueless as the passengers.

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