Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Chaos When Technology Fails

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Chaos When Technology Fails

Article excerpt

ISNaT it amazing how computer reliant weave become these days?

Pre-computers, if you wanted to fly away for a holiday you simply forked over your cash and the travel agent or airline attendant filled out a ticket, and away you went.

These days, you simply jump onto a computer, click on a few buttons and book your own flight, then turn up at the airport and another computer prints you out your boarding pass.

That is, if the computers are working.

Unlike Monday this week when a group of us turned up at Townsville Airport to board a flight home, only to find all internet services were down from Rockhampton north. What chaos.

Suddenly, airline staff had to complete bookings and seat allocations by hand and write out each traveleras boarding pass.

Townsville Airport can be a busy place, particularly after the Australia Day weekend when people are heading home north and south.

Naturally, this took time, hence, a three-hour delay for flights.

The delays did little to lift the spirits of those travelers who had to catch connecting flights in Brisbane.

And, with all phone services out as well, they couldnat even call family at home to tell them what was going on.

For those of you who havenat flown into, or out of, Townsville Airport, let me tell you thereas not a lot to do there.

And with the ATMs also down, some people were not only left stranded in a boring airport, but left stranded in a boring airport with no money to use at the bar a even at $8 a stubby.

Eventually, after sitting around staring at each other for three hours, we finally got to board our plane a and thatas where it really got scary.

Firstly, one of our group found her seat had been double booked, a glitch in the return-to-the-writing

-out-of-boarding-passes process.

She was momentarily seated in the flight attendantsa seat in the pantry, you know, that little area right at the back of the plane where the flight attendants prepare drinks, meals and whisper complaints to each other about the passengers in economy. …

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