Feeds

Qantas gets rocked by Amadeus

Time leaping blamed for airline mayhem

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Airlines Qantas and Virgin Australia went into temporary meltdown on Sunday morning (EST) when the Amadeus ALTEA platform which they both use was affected by unspecified technical issues.

The global glitch left passengers unable to check in across domestic and international flights with staff having to resort to manual processes and cancellations and delays ensuing for several hours.

Qantas took to Twitter to state “global issues with ALTEA system affecting check-in. Issue resolved and ports will be back online shortly. We're sorry for the inconvenience.”

It is the second time in six months that Qantas has had to grapple with Amadeus issues. Back in January the ALTEA system crashed for around three hours affecting its 100 string network of airlines including British Airways, Qantas, and Cathay Pacific.

At the time Amadeus said the massive fail was due to a “network change” and upgrade at its data centre enterprise network in Germany.

Last November, another Amadeus outage had Qantas staff issuing hand-written boarding cards.

In the latest incident, Amadeus confirmed that there were problems with the ALTEA system but would not define them. They were also committed to “taking any appropriate steps to avoid this reoccurring”.

The issue is being widely attributed to the "leap second", the one-second time adjustment for atomic clocks so they can synchronize with clocks based on the Earth's rotation.

Web sites such as FourSquare, and LinkedIn were reportedly affected while more seasoned players like Google had developed a ‘leap smear’ solution to circumvent the issue.

Science commentator Karl Kruszelnicki told ABC radio this morning the leap second problem triggered a security feature that meant Amadeus rejected Qantas transactions. Transactions from Qantas arrived with the wrong time-stamp, which was interpreted by Amadeus as indicating that the transaction may have been intercepted by a man-in-the-middle attack.

The Register has not been able to confirm this explanation for the outage. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.