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British Airways

A Flick of a Switch Caused BA IT Glitch

A Flick of a Switch Caused BA IT Glitch
Jackie Reddy

An IT worker undertaking routine server maintenance reportedly caused severe damage to BA’s servers by attempting a re-boot too quickly after a system failure.

It has been revealed that a simple flick of a switch could be behind the IT failure that left 75,000 British Airways (BA) passengers stranded last weekend, the Metro reports. The outlet indicates that an engineer conducting routine maintenance apparently did not follow the proper protocol while working, causing ‘catastrophic physical damage’ to the carrier’s global servers.

The IT outage, which occurred last Saturday and only lasted for a quarter of an hour, nevertheless caused BA’s website to crash, preventing passengers from checking in online. It also wreaked havoc on the airline’s baggage systems and left the carrier’s fleet grounded. BA took days to get back to smooth operations following the glitch, which has reportedly cost the carrier £150 ($193) million.

The outlet reports that the incident began on May 27 at approximately 8:30 a.m. local time at a building at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) when the airline’s Uninterruptible Power System (UPS) failed. The unnamed operating engineer then attempted to re-set the system, but this re-boot apparently happened too quickly and caused a power surge that in turn resulted in a major incident.

The worker in question is reported to be a contractor with CBRE Global Workplace Solutions.

The Daily Mail reports that the back-up generator and batteries intended to support the server system also failed.

While BA’s operations are now running smoothly, the outlet also reports that some travelers have yet to receive their baggage following the glitch.

Commenting on the incident to The Sun, an unnamed source said that the impact of the failure could be long-lasting. “It’s very much human error that’s to blame. It’s not over yet,” the source said.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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1 Comment

  1. IanFromHKG

    June 5, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    So the (supposedly) uninterruptible power supply failed AND the back-up generator failed AND the back-up batteries failed? One is at best unfortunate. Two together is unfortunate and looks like carelessness. All three at once? Someone MUST have screwed up, and I don’t just mean the poor sod who flicked the switch too soon. For three back-up systems to fail simultaneously…. That stretches the word coincidence into dangerous (sic) territory

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