- Southwest, United, American and Delta, JetBlue and Alaskan airlines are facing customer backlash after computer outages caused flight delays, according to various Twitter announcements Monday.
- The delays were related to the software system Aerodata, according to American Airlines. The disruption in service impacted some of its regional carriers and has since been resolved, according to the airline. Delta experienced "a brief third-party technology issue," now known to be Aerodata, that didn't allow Delta Connection flights to dispatch, but the issue was quickly resolved, according to a Tweet.
- Southwest was also working to resolve a "system issue" which resulted in canceled flights for some customers, according to various company Tweets. United Airlines' outage occurred that limited the company's ability "to create release paperwork," according to a Tweet.
When flights are delayed or canceled, airlines face immediate customer backlash even when the issue is not immediately theirs to own. Last week, Sabre, a technology solutions provider for airlines and other hospitality industries experienced an outage that impacted several airlines' reservation systems including JetBlue, Alaskan, WestJet and American Airlines.
However, this morning's delays are "not a Sabre software issue," according to the company. The delay today related to Aerodata's inability to allow airlines to make or release paperwork for flights. Without the data, planes remained grounded.
There is industrywide scrutiny of a vendor with product glitches that broadly impact customers. Companies often list the potential risk of what an interruption in their services could cause in terms of financial impact and customer backlash in SEC filings.
Companies relying on third party services also rely on their accountability and now that cloud and SaaS are dominant, that trust is invaluable. A lack of transparency into service providers' operations puts the added pressure on them to perform as expected. Customer don't immediately see the root cause of an issue, they instead inflict backlash on the service providers' customers.