Airline cancellations expose latent issues with electronic systems: A doctor’s perspective

Bracken S. Kolle, M.D. ⚕

After a hot summer in the Texas sun spent working as a camp counselor, the last thing a teenage boy would want is to be stuck in the student housing for another day. But, this is exactly what happened to my son due to a major outage on the Southwestern Airlines system. Over two days, more than 1,100 flights were cancelled  and hundreds more were delayed because of issues with their computer system.

Just this week, Delta suffered a similar outage that was described at a “System Outage Nationwide”. Fortunately, flights that were en route continued to operate normally, but this was no consolation for the thousands of people who were struggling to get where they were going. To add insult to injury, flight status systems in the airports continued to show flights as on time.

Just like with these massive flight systems, electronic anesthesia charting systems sometimes suffer outages…

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