The weekend (August 12) issue of USA Today features a cover story by Charisse Jones and Elizabeth Weise, “Airlines at risk from aging technology”. Online, the text of the story is slightly updated, “Travel trouble? Herr’s why your flight is delayed”
I recall a little bit about the airlines from my own explorations of the job market in Dallas in the 1980s, when Sabre was touted as American Airlines’s start-of-the-art reservation system. Airlines have built upon older mainframe systems, and it seems that there are a lot of pieces that have to fit together.
Various media reports indicate that Delta had reported a fire at its server farm in Atlanta, and that some servers did not connect properly to backup power systems. But this seems more like a “field engineering” issue (as it used to be called) than applications or systems programming.
WJLA has a story about how a missed flight because of the Delta outage saved a family from being in the Silver Spring apartment when the gas explosion happened, link.