System crash briefly grounds Qantas boarding passes
Mile-high pilot romp doesn’t help rep, either
In just another workday in the perpetual crisis-management of Qantas PR, a system crash at Sydney airport had check-in staff issuing handwritten boarding passes.
It’s yet more bad publicity for an airline that early in November grounded its entire fleet to teach a lesson to unions; then last week nominated itself for “world’s worst social media campaign” by inviting Twitter users to relate their “Qantas luxury” experience, creating a veritable Tweet-storm of public abuse.
Today’s unexplained outage, which affected Qantas check-ins around the country, lasted around two hours, from 6.40am to shortly before 8am, during the morning business traveller peak. However, since the problem only affected printing rather than the ability to process passengers, the airline told the Sydney Morning Herald that the problem caused only “minor delays”.
The Herald says that although Qantas asserted that overseas airports weren’t affected, passengers in Auckland in New Zealand were also receiving handwritten boarding passes.
The embattled airline’s reputation is also suffering one of the worst embarrassments possible, with Murdoch’s Herald Sun airing passenger complaints that a pilot had a “steamy interaction” with a passenger on a long-haul flight between London and Australia.
The newspaper said the pilot was “not in uniform at the time of the incident,” which may be regarded as redundant if the pair joined the mile-high club on the flight. ®
Update: Qantas has stated on Twitter that the outage was caused by upstream IT systems provider Amadeus, and that it affected all Amadeus customers worldwide. ®
If it's any consolation...
...a couple of months ago BA's automagical check-in system decided, in mid-process, to decline to acknowledge my existence. I therefore went to the organic version, who duly issued me with a boarding pass. Gate B67 at LHR T5. When I got there, I found a big shiny Boeing 747 loading passengers bound for Los Angeles, which was a more than minor inconvenience for someone who wanted to fly to Denver. Fortunately a nice and, crucially, competent BA employee was able to direct me to the correct aeroplane.
I was the last to board. "We've been waiting for you" said a member of the cabin crew, disapprovingly. I showed him my fatally flawed boarding pass. He was apologetic. I was apoplectic, though not to the extent that I'd consider using a US airline for next year's holibobs.
No boarding pass? No problem - let's have sex
Love the tag "Mile High Pilot" and the unique British Humour - linking Boarding Pass Printing with Sex :-)