WestJet IT Outage Causes Continuing Travel Chaos

WestJet IT Outage Causes Continuing Travel Chaos

DALLAS – WestJet (WS) has warned of flight delays over the coming days following a system-wide outage which hit the airline on Saturday, November 5.

The airline said a cooling issue caused the disruption at its primary data centre. Manual processes and backup options had to be used until technicians restored the systems.

Flight Cancellations

Around 140 flights were impacted on Saturday and about 100 on Sunday, affecting thousands of passengers. By Sunday, the systems were back online, but the airline said it would take time to get its schedule back on track.

Passengers were forced to queue for many hours at airports to get further information. Photo: Ryan Scottini/Airways.

In a statement, WestJet Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Diederik Pen said, “On Saturday November 5, WestJet experienced a system-wide outage that impacted operations across our network due to a cooling issue in our primary data centre. Upon learning of the issue, we immediately implemented procedures to employ backup options and manual processes where possible, to minimize guest impact,”

“The technology outage has been resolved and all systems are online, but we are still experiencing some instability. Unfortunately, due to the scope of yesterday’s network impact, we continue to see residual disruptions. Further delays and cancellations in the coming days will be required, as we work diligently to recover our operations.”

Lack of Communication

WS has been criticized for its lack of communication during the event. Passengers faced long call wait times to reach the airline’s contact centre, and it has since requested that customers only call if their flight is within 72 hours.

Disruption could continue for several days. Photo: Michal Mendyk/Airways.

Pen has promised a thorough review of the incident and acknowledged that the airline had “let our guests down.” He also added that they would conduct a full audit to ensure a similar incident didn’t happen again.

Featured Image: Over 200 flights were affected by the outage over the weekend. Photo: Max Langley/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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