Wednesday, 17 April 2013
"Mystery Computer Problem Grounds All AA Flights"
I'm quoted at some length in this article today on TechNewsWorld.com:
By John P. Mello Jr.
Relations between Sabre and American have been deteriorating for years, according to travel consultant Edward Hasbrouck.
That's ironic, since American created Sabre but later let it spin off as an independent company.
The blame game being played with Tuesday's reservation problem is unusual. "I've never seen a case before where you had people pointing fingers at each other," he told TechNewsWorld.
Even after the spinoff, Hasbrouck said, Sabre provided American with a large array of critical IT functions for the airline. The tiff between Sabre and American is an example of the risks of spinning off a company that provides important internal services to the parent firm.
"Even if there was some benefit from the spinoff for stockholders, it can put you in the position where you're dependent on a competitor for IT services," he said.
The antagonism between American and Sabre creates an uncomfortable situation for the companies, Hasbrouck said.
"You now have a situation where you have an airline dependent for essential business processes on a company with whom it has an increasingly problematic relationship," he added.
"Would American have been better off if they kept Sabre in-house?" Hasbrouck asked. "I don't know. But it's created a misfit that makes it harder to sort out these kinds of problems. This may be a cautionary tale of outsourcing internal business process automation divisions."
For more on previous reservation system outages, see:
- The Amazing Race 9, Episode 3: Sabre and Apollo outages (21 March 2006)
- Lessons for travellers from the United Airlines computer outage (18 June 2011)
- United Airlines grounded by CRS outage (29 August 2012)
- Sabre CRS is down (11 September 2012)