Air New Zealand’s computer system crash creates chaos
Thousands of travelers were grounded for several hours as airports around the country were thrown into chaos when Air New Zealand's computer system crashed.
Thousands of travelers were grounded for several hours as airports around the country were thrown into chaos when Air New Zealand’s computer system crashed.
Planes were delayed for up to two hours yesterday as the airline’s electronic check-in system failed, forcing flights to be painstakingly processed one by one.
The system crash, which happened about 10am, meant some flights were cancelled. It also affected online bookings and call-centre activities.
Bruce Parton, Air New Zealand’s group general manager of short-haul airlines, said more than 10,000 people were affected by the breakdown.
The airline had called in extra staff and handed out food to help apologise to waiting travellers, he said.
“It was the end of the school holidays, so you couldn’t ask for a better day for this to go wrong,” he said.
When all the airline’s computers were down, the “chaos” meant staff resorted to using pen and paper to check flights in, Mr Parton said.
But the process sped up during the afternoon and the whole network was back in action by 3.30pm.
The airline would be meeting computer manufacturer IBM this morning to “express our concern”, Mr Parton said.
At Wellington Airport, hundreds of frustrated travellers joined queues, tapped fruitlessly at self-service kiosks and sat slumped on baggage carousels.
Jess Drysdale and Aimee Harrison, both 20, of Lower Hutt, were heading to Auckland on a midday flight for a concert.
But the pair, who were still lying on the airport floor sharing an ipod about 12.30pm, had their plans thrown out the window by the snag.
“We were meant to go to the zoo today, but now we’re not going anywhere,” Miss Drysale said.
Stuart Little, of Christchurch rugby team the Sumner Sharks, looked downcast despite wearing a sombrero.
Karen Taylor of Wellington was dropping off her 76-year-old mother who was travelling to Perth. Her mother was initially worried about missing the international leg of the trip, but had been told that flight had been delayed too.
Taihakoa Teepa, 6, was getting ready for his first trip on an aeroplane when the computer crash happened.
It was taking all his patience to wait for his Rotorua flight, but he was still excited about it, he said.
Others were more light-hearted. A traveller turned troubadour by pulling out a guitar for a singalong.
Perth tourists Graeme and Joan Zanich said they were not fussed by the delays to the next leg of their holiday.
“It doesn’t bother us too much because we’re not in a hurry. It’s only 45 minutes,” Mrs Zanich said.