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Ticketing crash sees Virgin Blue passengers stranded

Ticketing crash sees Virgin Blue passengers stranded

More than 50,000 passengers have been affected following the collapse the Virgin Blue ticketing system on Sunday evening.

As many as 400 flights were cancelled or delayed following the outage, with the airline blaming its information technology producer – Navitaire – for the glitches.

With passengers being offered hotel accommodation, travel to and from airports, re-booking on Virgin Blue or other airlines and a free flight to be used within 12 months as compensation, Virgin Blue group executive Andrew David said he hoped the backlog would be cleared by Tuesday morning.

“I am pleased to tell you we had a very productive day today and the queues at Melbourne and Brisbane have all but disappeared, and in Sydney we have a minimum queue time,” he added.

He added legal action against Navitaire was being considered following the technical failure.

“The service agreement Virgin Blue has with Navitaire requires any mission critical system outages to be remedied within a short period of time,” Mr David said.

“This did not happen in this instance.”


Navitaire – which supplies the external reservations and check-in systems to Virgin Blue - saw computer hardware fail on Sunday, forcing the switch to the slower manual check-in arrangements.

The computer problem disrupted Virgin Blue flights at airports across the country, as well as the web check-in service and some Virgin Pacific international flights.

Virgin Blue operations manager Andrew David confirmed the back-up system should have kicked in after three hours but instead it took 21 hours.

“We will be seeking action from them to assure us that they understand the root cause of the problem and make sure that they put fixes in place to make sure this can’t happen again,” he concluded.