5 Noteworthy Airline Disasters over the Past Year

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How Airlines Made it into Pop Culture

You broke it, you should fix it,
You’re liable, just admit it;
I should’ve flown with someone else,
Or gone by car;
Cause “You-Know-What-Airlines” breaks guitars.

The story of a musician with dreams to make it big, who soared to fame once this song on United Airlines went viral, is one that nearly all of North America remembers. The story behind the song was more about lack of compassion of the business entity towards its customers.

The degree of compassion of a business essentially showcases how they treat their customers. Customers of today will most certainly respond to your products and services on the platform of social media, and you will find most to be quite vocal about their thoughts and experiences.

The web defines Sentiment Analysis as:

“The process of computationally identifying and categorizing opinions expressed in a piece of text, especially in order to determine whether the writer’s attitude towards a particular topic, product, etc. is positive, negative, or neutral.”

Recently, United Airlines has been making headlines for yet another disaster. This time around, it has left most of the world horror-struck in the wake of the incident. On a general note, most airlines are now becoming increasingly aware of the various benefits, as well as repercussions, offered by software technology. Software Technology can offer industries crucial business solutions, but it becomes essential to prioritize quality assurance above all else, and follow up with a comprehensive quality engineering-based approach.

Technology for Airlines Simulation

Airlines, in specific, have witnessed time and again the advantage that comes with technology, especially while making use of simulation while training according to several scenarios. Pilots spend numerous hours in these virtual simulators, where a few taps on the touchscreen can help recreate a startlingly real experience, thereby permitting the entire flight crew to run through the process of handling an airplane in times of crises.

Even something as natural as turbulence can cause airplanes a great amount of damage and cause customers a great amount of inconvenience. Technology helps in predicting the turbulence, which helps pilots make arrangements to ease out the flight despite the turbulence. Applications are designed specifically to help pilots obtain real-time updates on weather conditions, and even information coming from the airplanes flying ahead.

In this manner, technology is:

  • Helping in the interconnectivity of the cockpits
  • Allowing pilots to gather decision-enabling real-time information
  • Empowering airline passengers with immediate and useful information

Airlines, however, are not limiting themselves to simulation scenarios, and are actually looking to set new standards for connectivity with passengers. Despite careful measures being taken, there still are multiple disasters that we hear of, which technology could have helped avoid.

In this blog, we take a look at some of the worst disasters airlines have faced over the past year, and why quality software truly matters.

5 Noteworthy Airline Disasters over the Past Year

  1. Technical Glitches for a leading NA Airline: In July 2016, headlines broke out about how a major airlines in North America had its flights grounded after it encountered technical glitches. Flights were held up across the country, and customers could not buy tickets, check in for flights, or check their flight’s status for over three hours. Airlines have extensive, intersecting and complex technology systems, and even momentary outages can cause thousands of passengers to be stranded for hours together. A similar incident occurred a few months prior to this incident, where an outage had caused about 800 flights to be delayed and required its employees to step-up and issue tickets and boarding passes manually. The airline blamed a software application, which took almost an entire day to recover.
  2. Prominent Airlines Suffers Massive Power Outages Incident: Mayhem ensued with a leading American airlines, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded around the world. In August 2016, a leading American airlines witnessed a severe outage that had an impact on check-in systems, airport screens, the airline’s website, and smartphone apps. The Airlines communicated to its customers via twitter that its systems were down, and there would be an increased number of delays and cancellations. Most passengers complained about how they were not properly informed about what was happening, and how they faced an endless waiting for hours on end.
  3. Airlines Hit By Engine Failure: A disk broke into at least four pieces inside the engine of a major Airlines in October 2016, jet at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport and the pieces were flung from the airplane as far as a half-mile to a UPS warehouse. The high-pressure turbine disk in the GE engine showed features consistent with fatigue cracking. The disk had been through about 11,000 flights, below its life limit of 15,000 flights, according to a preliminary report by a transportation board.
  4. Nordic Airlines Averts Business Disaster: As an account of a disaster thwarted just-in-time, a Nordic Airlines used application performance monitoring in March this year, to assist it in its plans to further expand in North America. The technology team in the airlines identified multiple problems from the data collected during the time of testing.
  5. United Airlines Over-books its Passenger Seats: United Airlines made headlines yet again for all the wrong reasons. The root-cause of the disaster goes back to how it allowed the flight to be over-booked. This is a key example of how technology might have been able to save the day by alerting concerned personnel well before take-off.

In Conclusion

Airlines are quickly becoming aware of the pressing need to be consistently high performing, and have applications available round-the-clock, to ensure business performance in the digital economy. An exhaustive Performance Engineering strategy that utilizes APM solution will become a key enabler for digital success. In a nutshell, quality software could have offered quicker fixes, or even immediate solutions.

Airlines can transform their businesses by Quality Engineering, Performance Engineering and leveraging APM solutions. Performance Engineering will utilize the APM tools effectively, to:

  • Assess the performance of individual as well as inter-connected applications
  • Identify crucial bottlenecks well ahead of time
  • Allow QA engineers to effectively fix identified performance issues

If you are attending Aviation Festival Americas, listen to Cigniti Thought Leader, Sai Chintala, President – Global Delivery & Solution Engineering talking about ‘Leverage Quality Engineering and Sentiment Analysis – Increase your airline customer satisfaction index’.

You can also register here for the Aviation Festival event. To know further, write to us at contact@cigniti.com.