Emirates airline website plummets offline in A380 excitement
Oil superpower fails to pay domain subs
Dubai's government-owned airline, Emirates, forgot to renew its domain name this week, sending its website crashing offline on the same day it was trumpeting delivery of its first Airbus A380 superjumbo.
Travellers keen to be among the first to book flights on the so-called "premium hotel in the sky" via Emirates.com were met on Tuesday with a standard parking page placed by domain seller Network Solutions. It offered generic flight and Arabian travel-related text ads, rather than the fully-featured ecommerce site they were expecting.
One poster on passenger forum Flyertalk.com wrote: "I first thought what the?! Did Emirates liquidate overnight and management ran away to some remote island?.. or in the middle of their plane purchasing spree forgot to pay their domain fees?"
The answer is (b). Emirates sent El Reg this statement:
Due to an administrative error, our domain registration temporarily lapsed and this was addressed immediately. However, it did lead to some minor technical difficulties with the site which our engineers have now resolved. We apologise to our customers who have experienced any difficulties.
According to our correspondents, the site disappeared for several hours before re-emerging with the aforementioned snafus on board. Global availability took a while too, as various DNS providers refreshed their caches at different times.
Quite how an organisation with the clout and financial backing of Emirates can't manage to set up a $10 direct debit we don't know. We just hope its pilots aren't so forgetful.
That said, Emirates is by no means the first global corporation to suffer a bout of web address amnesia. Microsoft famously neglected Hotmail.co.uk in 2003. ®
@TeeCee - the irony is that they have
Emirates pays a company (not Network Solutions) to manage it's domain name portfolio to ensure that things like this do not happen.
Like many large corporations, however, the IT department is so paranoid about anything going wrong with the main .com domain name that they refuse to let it be transferred across to that domain name management company.
This sort of thing happens every day. The sooner people wake up and realise that Network Solutions is one of the worst places to hold domain names the better. Remember that this is the company that thought that pre-emptively registering domains that people were searching on at their site was an acceptable business practice.
Oh, and that domain management company charges less than Network Solutions laughable $35 a year gTLD price so they could have saved some money too.
Domain name registrations. Not quite that simple.
As a hostmaster (yes we need more than one) of a large US MNC, I can tell you it is an uphill battle with country registrars who expect you to speak their mother tongue. Anyone speak Vietnamese or Bahasa Indonesia here? :D
Still it isn't quite acceptable allowing your *main* domain name to do a disappearing act ;)
This happened to a former employer and was doubly embarrassing as 99% of their business was conducted over teh Internets...