The reason behind the BA global meltdown of last weekend.


A careless IT engineer perfuming some maintenance work over at a British Airways data center in London is the culprit behind the Air carrier's recent global meltdown which saw 75,000 people stranded just last weekend.

This incident could see BA paying out up to £150 million in compensations to the affected individuals.

This incident is by far the most disastrous event in the history of air transportation and it has emerged that just one IT engineer flipping a switch too fast is responsible for it.

Just stumbled on this bit of news just a short while ago, hot as it is, I checked, double-checked and found out that both the UK Metro and Daily Mail are up and running with the story so ‘valid’ it is.

This careless engineer reportedly failed to follow the proper procedures while on maintenance duty at the center which is located in Heathrow. He flipped the switch rather too quickly and that led to the ‘catastrophic damage’ to servers all over the world – physical damage to the servers, mind you.

The resulting outage which hit last Saturday lasted no more than 15 minutes but brought the entire BA website down. Thousands of people couldn’t check in, the planes got grounded and the baggage systems was a perfect example of a broken system.

Someone turning heavy duty computers off and on too fast, causing all this mess…well, one has to hand it to the computerized age we live in. I bet BA’s Chief Executive, Alex Cruz is wishing he were back in the age when man didn’t need computers to do his thing and the depression of just one button couldn’t wreak the kind of havoc that costs millions to fix.

Three days, that’s what it took British Airways to get its computers up and the entire airline back to full operations at the appropriate schedules. It’s almost a week now but so many people are still waiting to meet up with their baggage. The legal suit that will come from this mess will surely break some kind of record.

The IT engineer who caused it all is allegedly from one of BA’s top contractors, CBRE Global Workplace Solutions, and the firm is all too willing to assist the airline with an in-depth investigation.

The Uninterruptible Power System (UPS) system which broke down, causing the whole mess in the first place, was located at Boadicea House, Heathrow. Reports say the UPS failed at about 8.30am, last Saturday.

The breakdown resulted in the crash of the airline’s website, grounding all activities for about 15 minutes.

Daily Mail reports that after the blowout, all alternative power sources failed – batteries and a backup generator failed too.

In this situation, protocol requires power be restored ‘slowly' with support from other BA data centers at Heathrow but on this particular occasion, the power was switched over rather too fast and that produced a power surge which crashed all BA computers. Servers with major data about flights, passengers, baggage and flight paths were damaged in the blink of an eye.

The airline is blaming the entire failure on an IT engineer who flipped the power supply switch too quickly.

One sure thing is that the blow back from this mess will certainly be felt for a very long time as there is sure to be tons of corrupted date not to talk about the upcoming bill of £150,000,000 to he paid out in compensations to over 75,000 affected people, some of whom had to spend days stranded at airports without their bags.

This incident brings one curious question to mind. In a world so advanced and computer reliant as ours is now, whose errors are we to be scared of? That of the computers or that of the operators, what of the IT guys that maintain the high-tech gadgets, which clearly, can malfunction terribly at the quick turning of a mere switch or screw.


Planes have been known to crash due to very minor mistakes such as this.
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