Virgin Australia router outage strikes Friday night flyers

A problem with the airline's network affected its check-in system and resulted in flight cancellations and traveller confusion.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

An issue with a router took down Virgin Australia's domestic check-in system last night, cancelling a dozen flights and leaving passengers stranded in Hobart, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Rockhampton, Canberra, and Coolangatta airports.

"There was a failure of the Optus router that provides network services to our check-in system," a Virgin Australia spokesperson told ZDNet. "It was not an issue with Sabre.

"We are investigating why the Optus router failed, to ensure it does not happen again."

Sabre is the company's check-in system that was launched in January this year. It fell victim to a router issue that caused traveller chaos along the east coast of Australia.

According to the company's Twitter stream, the outage lasted for almost two hours, beginning around 7pm AEST.

"There was a temporary network issue that caused problems with our check-in system this evening, however it is now back up and running," said a Virgin Australia travel alert.

The airline subsequently arranged alternative flights and overnight accommodation for some passengers.

Virgin Australia said that any passengers who were unable to travel or elected not to travel would be provided with a credit for their flight.

Earlier this year, Virgin Australia replaced its core IT systems, including the rollout of a new Sabre customer sales and service system that handles reservations, sales, electronic ticketing, guest recognition, inventory management operations, and check-ins.

The Sabre system replaced the company's previous Navitaire system, which had a history of outages. In 2011, the airline suffered an 11-day outage due to a failure of the Navitaire system. After Virgin threatened legal action, the matter was eventually settled out of court.

Update: added comment by Virgin Australia and clarification of the root cause of the outage.

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