UA Server Outage at LAX

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by drdubs, Aug 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. drdubs
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    drdubs Silver Member

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    As reported by multiple ground staff and on-board staff, UA servers at LAX completely crashed on August 10 around 2:00 PM. The result was that all passengers were required to check-in either online or on their smartphone and board with the electronic or pre-printed BP. While this was a workable solution for many domestic passengers, international passengers were left stranded. Several of us flying on the non-stop to LHR were stuck waiting in the T6 check-in area for about 2 hours while the agents tried to figure out a work around. After much shoulder shrugging, one of the agents figured out that she could call a reservation center in Denver and ask the agent to check us in by phone. The next step was to write out a boarding pass using pen and paper!

    While this was resolved in a matter of time, the real sticking point was that the bag match (matching of passengers to luggage) needed to be done manually since all of the computer systems were inoperable. Needless to say, a process that usually is done automatically took about three hours with all of the passengers already onboard the aircraft. When the match was finally done, we were held until the manifest could be printed in San Franciso, faxed to the UA operations center under gate 85 and then driven to the aircraft at gate 77. The scheduled 5:55 departure pushed back from the gate at 8:50 PM.

    Does the two hour wait to check-in and three hour ground wait make it worth my while to ask UA for some kind of compensation or should I just be happy we finally took off?
     
  2. gooseman13

    gooseman13 Silver Member

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    Yes and Yes!
     
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  3. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Agreed, I'd ask for some Miles and be happy you left 3 hours late too...
     
  4. scott6067
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    scott6067 Silver Member

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    Actually you can thank a contractor for cutting the T1 line at the airport that caused the outage.
     
  5. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    No an No. This was an unavoidable circumstance. However, UA should automatically credit you with 10K MP/OP miles. As the saying goes: batman happens. Be a grown up and get over it!
     
  6. gooseman13

    gooseman13 Silver Member

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    Which part of the circumstance was unavoidable? United failing to have a backup plan in place for a network outage does not seem unavoidable to me...
     
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  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    They did have a backup in place. They got it done, albeit a bit slower. A three hour delay is mildly annoying, and if you feel compelled to demand compensation for it you'll probably get something for your efforts in writing the letter. But that doesn't mean you deserve it.

    Yes UA could have diverse path network connectivity at all stations. It is not particularly uncommon a configuration and only costs a bit of money at each site. But those costs add up over time and unless you're willing to start paying more for airfare on a regular basis then perhaps accepting that sometimes things don't go perfectly but they still get done is a reasonable way to go through life.
     
  8. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    You know, this was an interesting and entertaining story about how UA had to juggle things to deal with a server outage and how things at an airport work right up until the point where it became a "how much compensation can I demand" thread.

    Then it just became typical :rolleyes:.
     
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  9. drdubs
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    drdubs Silver Member

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    In that case, let's put an end to the compensation question as I'm not going to ask for anything. I agree that the cause of the incident was, apparently, outside of UA's control. I further agree that, albeit slowly, UA eventually figured out how to work around the computer outage. While I would not have chosen to spend those 5 hours as I did, in the grand scheme of things it was a minor hassle. I do find two parts of the process particularly interesting:

    1. I know this will seem obvious, but it is amazing to me how integrated technology and the airline's operations have become. When there were no computers to do the job, there was momentary panic among the employees and the customers until a solution began to emerge. It's interesting to observe how much the computer system has changed our travelling experience over the years.

    2. There was an enormous discrepancy in the personal reaction of individual front line employees. Two agents in particular at check-in were scrambling to figure out how to help and processing passengers as quickly as possible. The remaining 6 employees literally shrugged their shoulders when asked for assistance. I went so far as to call the 1K line to ask for guidance on how to proceed and was advised to "wait until closer to departure and something would work itself out." I also give credit to the flight crew who did their best to make the ground delay pleasant, ensuring that the plane's water supply was restocked, offering small snacks and encouraging people to take advantage of the in-flight entertainment system.
     
  10. EX-LAX

    EX-LAX Silver Member

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    Spoke to a very senior management person from CO on a recent UA flight. Long story short --- The days of unlimited vouchers for every incident are OVER. "UA was very liberal with compensation, etc., but those days are OVER, now that we've merged (taken over), was the quote!"
     

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