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United Airlines flights grounded by simple router malfunction

After a ‘network connectivity issue’ forced United Airlines to ground hundreds of flights, senior vice president of International at Ipswitch, Alessandro Porro, said it was a surprise to see such a simple problem cause a complete halt in operations, as airlines often have sophisticated monitoring tools.

“This is the second time in the last couple of months that United Airlines has had to ground its fleet because of IT issues. A 'router malfunction’ is such a simple problem that comes with such serious financial and operational consequences,” he says.

“I’m surprised that this would cause the entire operation to grind to a halt. Airlines often have sophisticated network monitoring tools, which if configured properly, closely watch all aspects of network performance and can predict problem areas before they happen.”

Speaking on how to prevent these things from happening again, Porro believes reviewing the airline’s network infrastructure could reveal the problem.

“It may be that a review of the airline’s network infrastructure, monitoring tools and management is in order to identify where the issue lies. Could the problem have been identified earlier and avoided and why was one router able to bring operations to a halt?"

American major airline United Airlines was hit with computer problems recently, forcing it to ground hundreds of flights. The issue, second one in just over a month, was caused by a ‘network connectivity issue’. UA has since confirmed that it was a router malfunction that caused the problem.

United, said more than 1,150 flights had been delayed and about 60 cancelled by late afternoon.