Computer outages strike US airlines about once a month

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. airline industry suffers about one technology outage per month, most of them serious enough to disrupt flights.

However, regulators don’t oversee airline information-technology systems, and outages aren’t covered by consumer protections for passengers.

The Government Accountability Office reported Wednesday that it counted 34 outages from 2015 through 2017, and 85% caused delays or cancellations.

GAO says airline systems are complicated because they developed over many years and different ones were combined after a wave of mergers.

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The government doesn’t track outages, so researchers had to use other sources, and they don’t know how many passengers were affected.

A 2018 outage at a regional subsidiary cost American Airlines 3,000 flights and $35 million in pretax income. A three-day outage in 2016 cost Delta $150 million in lost revenue.

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