back to article As you stare at the dead British Airways website, remember the hundreds of tech staff it laid off

The ba.com and britishairways.com websites and online check-in system for British Airways have been down for the past seven hours or so. The UK's major airline says it has people "at work" fixing the cockup, but as of 1800 GMT no resolution is in sight and BA has not provided an explanation beyond "technical issues." A trip to …

  1. Alan Sharkey

    Its now 7pm and still not up. Oops. !!!!

  2. I just wish to be anonymous.

    I realise it's simplistic but....

    Maybe we should all pay a few quid more for flights and keep people employed.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

      And what on earth makes you think they would actually pay for the staff they need?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

      Yeah they made three billion euros last year, they can do one.

    3. Richard Jones 1
      FAIL

      Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

      Perhaps they were all stuck in their seats needing to go to the loo and, well nature took its course? Then the lights went off due to the 'damp problem'?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

      It's a nice idea but I'm thinking you don't understand how the world of business works,

      I sell dogs (I love a good dog analogy but I'm actually more of a cat person though I've had dogs all my life as well)

      I employ 30 people to help with selling the dogs and running the business but it would appear I can get rid of 10 of them and increase my profits by outsourcing their roles.

      Instantly I have stated my intentions and that is to make as much money as I can from dogs.

      Something goes wrong with the outsourced part of business and there is now shit all over the lawn.

      I can't get the original people back and just put up with the sub-standard lawn shit clearing ability of my out sourced team. It doesn't affect me personally because it's not my lawn and quite frankly I don't care.

      I'm not going to change anything because my sub-standard lawn shit cleaning team are still cheaper.

      Sure, feel free to pay more for the dogs but the lawn is still going to have the same amount of shit on it regardless, you are just giving me and my share holders money for free because if I can pay less for something even if it's not as good then I will. I'm still careful though not to cross the imaginary line that would hit sales, shit on the lawn for a few hours rather than a few minutes is acceptable for me.

      The customer should never have to clean the shit off the lawn.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

        I'm not sure if this deranged ramblings or insightful genius. Bravo Sir either way!

        1. Mr Bussiness

          Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

          Barking mad.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

        "Something goes wrong with the outsourced part of business and there is now shit all over the lawn."

        It might not be the dogs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

          "It might not be the dogs"

          I may not have implicitly implicated the dogs but they were under the control of the outsourcing team at the time and they managed to cover the lawn with shit. It may have been avoided if they knew how shit worked,

      3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

        Just send all the dogs to India. (There is shit all over the place there (human faeces) due to the lack of toilets and sewage systems.)

        Out of sight, out of mind.

        Someone elses problem

        But the ed result is

        Problem solved.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

        I think you made a linear assumption too far.

        It's an idea to exchange cost for quality. The amount may be more than that but it is still a feasible business approach.

        Let's re-use your example. I sell dogs and I employ 30 people to help with selling the dogs while running the business.

        Instead of getting rid of 10 of them, I utilize those 10 to increase our dog qualities with a mix of research and marketing. I present our dogs as happier dogs with some early training to improve customers initial impression. It ultimately increased the cost, the quality, and satisfied customers.

        Think of this like a 5-star hotel vs a 3-star hotel. It doesn't work for all cases just like the case you noted where you have already aiming for the lower cost in exchange for quality.

        However if you have an iPhone, it pretty much shows that some customers prefer a device with some quality engineers, rather than an unknown cheap China android phone with no engineer and 30% more likely to explode when charging.

        1. ProperDave

          Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

          I'll throw in my own dog analogy too.

          I sell dogs. I have 30 staff. I then learn of cheaper dog handling talent in India and decide to cost-save and dismiss all but 3 staff to hire 27 cheap Indian dog handlers, knowing full well that GOOD dog handlers in India don't stay there, but get enough skills to move to the developed NA/European/Australasian countries where they get better wages...

          ... so I have my 27 graduate or incompetent dog handlers who can't get better jobs, but they're much cheaper than my original 27 staff. After a year or so of operation, one of my three remaining staff is doing quality checks and spots that the Indian dog handlers are breading in genetic defects into my stock as they don't fully understand the dogs! A process, which on further investigation has occurred repeatedly over generations, resulting in higher dead and returned puppies.

          What do I do? I decide that dogs just aren't for me, and shut down my dog breeding program, as I'm sure my other cat and bird breeding programs won't suffer this same issue with their Indian handlers.

          1. kend1
            Headmaster

            Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

            Re:ProperDave

            "the Indian dog handlers are breading in genetic defects into my stock"

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_dog

      5. handleoclast Silver badge
        Coat

        You are obviously running a puppy farm

        With a staff of 30 you must be selling a hell of a lot of dogs, so you're obviously running a puppy farm.

        A lot of people get upset by puppy farms. I've never understood why. Surely it's better for Korean restaurants to buy their meat from a farm than to steal people's pets off the street.

        Mine's the one that somebody has inexplicably put dog shit in the pocket of.

        1. ps2os2

          Re: You are obviously running a puppy farm

          In the US its called a puppy mill. We are trying to eliminate them but pesky state rules get involved.

      6. quxinot
        Coat

        Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

        I don't understand the analogy. You start talking about dogs and halfway through there's shit on the lawn. I didn't catch when you switched from running a dog business to a telecoms business.

        It does seem that there needs to be a way to convince business to play the long game, instead of seeing what kind of bonus they can make this week.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

      Maybe we should all pay a few quid more for flights and keep people employed.

      They will go to increase the bonus of the person who was so stupid that he did not realize that the new LHR runway will run over his office and he will be paying for demolition, relocation and expansion all in one.

      It will not go for more IT staff. As far as him and other similar golfogarchs are concerned is a "cost centre" - it is to be cut.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

      Maybe we should all pay a few quid more for flights and keep people employed.

      The only way you will change anything by paying more money is if you use that to fly with another company. That's what made Ryanair eventually go nice. They make a profit, but it's not a big one (and it's about to get even less now the oil prices are resuming their original level).

      That said, with the site down it's not like you had any other choice - I hope the contractors they had to call in to fix it will charge them emergency rates.

    7. VulcanV5

      Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

      It's not "a few more quid" you'd be paying, but a LOT more Euros. Or, in old money: pesetas. Because British Airways is about as British as paella. Same way that energy supplier Scottish Power is anything but an outstanding regional enterprise, rather an outfit with the worst customer service record of any large company in the UK.

      Spanish Airways and Spanish Power are infused with an identical corporate culture, which is to slash costs, treat customers with contempt, and in the event of formal or informal censure, issue a grovelling apology then set off and do the same thing all over again. And again.

      Spanish Power's most noticeable tactic has been to 'adopt' a leading charity, shove some money into it, and then run full page newspaper ads extolling its nobility. I now await a similar advertising campaign from Spanish Airways.

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

        I'm waiting for British Airways to officially become just BA so it can lose that tedious 'British' bit - the same way that British Petroleum became plain old BP and British Telecom metamorphosed into BT.

        That way they can get rid of all their expensive British workforce, headquarter somewhere sunny that just happens to have low taxes and rake in even more money for selling a third-rate service as a premium product.

    8. kmac499

      Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

      So BA can't afford the tech crew to maintain and support systems, but they can afford a PR crew to manage the message.

      Where's a 'B' Ark when you need one.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

        "Where's a 'B' Ark when you need one."

        It's on the tarmac but BA can't take bookings for it. The website's down.

    9. enormous c word

      Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

      - they would simply employ more marketing people

    10. pauleverett

      Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

      we do all pay a few quid more, have you seen the fricken prices? we are not all doing Ryan air jumble sale flights.

  3. twilkins

    Everybody is out there trying to pull doctors off planes.

    Oh, silly me, this isn't the USA!

    1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Just you wait...

    2. ciaran

      But Ryanair will make a profit from it

      Just you wait, in a few month's time Ryanair will have a option to not be chosen to be deplaned if they overbooked the flight. Its perfect, they'll make money from both ends! They can overbook more than other airlines by saying that anybody who didn't take the option knew and accepted that they could be ejected. And they make more money by upselling when you by the ticket.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But Ryanair will make a profit from it

        Weirdly, Ryanair has apparently stopped with overbooking. They even have numbered seating now..

  4. jamesb2147
    Pint

    Correlation is not causation

    People being axed does not mean this would be avoided. That's speculation, at best. Good effort at making a news story without any information to go on, though.

    Sorry situation for BA, though I've no tears to shed for them. They have a terrible business model where they're trying to emulate low cost carriers (LCC's) such as Ryanair while having the much higher cost structure of a legacy. They've made some efforts at bringing that down, but it's a shit strategy that eventually leads to bargain basement prices instead of quality product. One day, I predict they'll die a miserable death in the form of a takeover by Ryanair or other LCC after failing to pivot the business.

    Cheers for cheaper flights!

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Correlation is not causation

      People being axed does not mean this would be avoided. That's speculation, at best. Good effort at making a news story without any information to go on, though.

      You're right of course, but if one were a betting man... If it's some mega hardware fail, I'd like to see that being fixed from afar.

      Sorry situation for BA, though I've no tears to shed for them. They have a terrible business model where they're trying to emulate low cost carriers (LCC's) such as Ryanair while having the much higher cost structure of a legacy. They've made some efforts at bringing that down, but it's a shit strategy that eventually leads to bargain basement prices instead of quality product. One day, I predict they'll die a miserable death in the form of a takeover by Ryanair or other LCC after failing to pivot the business.

      Yep, quality will sell, but only if someone offers it. Unfortunately the market for a quality product is much smaller than the market for a cheap, low cost market, so guess which market everyone bundles in for.

      It takes a small, niche player who doesn't fundamentally care about growth, market share, or being taken over, but is quite prepared to offer a slightly more expensive product and make a modest profit reliably over a very long period of time.

      Such an outfit isn't going to be owned by shareholders...

      The only way that a minimum quality can be guaranteed is multinational government intervention on matters such as passenger space, etc, to set a lower limit on how bad things can get.

      1. Millennia

        Re: Correlation is not causation

        It was a screwed database upgrade. I would charge this DIRECTLY to the quality of the remaining team.

        1. Christoph Silver badge

          Re: Correlation is not causation

          There's nothing like proper testing on the dummy system before major system upgrades. And this was nothing like proper testing.

          1. scrubber
            Headmaster

            Re: Correlation is not causation

            @Christoph: "There's nothing like proper testing..."

            Correct.

      2. Keven E

        Re: Correlation is not causation

        "The only way that a minimum quality can be guaranteed is multinational government intervention on matters such as passenger space, etc, to set a lower limit on how bad things can get."

        Perhaps governments can support an education that'll produce more "Dog expertise" instead of the crap passing for *skills known as "marketing ".... not that we'd want air travel to turn into a system of "public transit"... ahem.

    2. Rusty 1
      Stop

      Re: Correlation is not causation

      It's a jolly strong cause though.

      "Our IT systems worked yesterday, and so shall they work today, tomorrow, and forever. Onwards, cost cutters, there is baggage to be trimmed!"

      "What do you mean, they were actively maintaining the system, preserving life? Oh sod."

    3. goldcd

      I share your concern

      I never minded the budget carriers - they were cheap and I could accept a lot from them as their way of justifying the price. I also actually actively liked some edicts like "You're late, we're taking off, and I don't care if we leave you behind".

      I've never liked flying. It's better sitting at the front and more pleasant in the lounge, but aside from a holiday I'm only there as my employer is making me and I would ALWAYS prefer to be at home.

      My requirements are basic. I would like to get on, be comfortable and ideally spend as much time as possible asleep. The point of the comfort to enable me to sleep. My dining requirements being enough G&Ts to enable me to overcome the discomfort - to allow me to sleep.

      BA are currently retrofitting their planes to offer less leg-room than Ryanair.

      Currently I have to chuck the magazines on the floor simply to get that f'in bar at the top of the seat pocket to not grind into my shin. I have to endure the (*&£er infront of me wondering why their seat won't recline (my legs) - and should I get an aisle seat, allowing me to get an extra inch by allowing my feet to go into the aisle the sodding cart being rammed into them.

      Oh, and don't start me on the "enhanced entertainment system" which is a metal box welded under the seat infront...

      ..alright, I've gone off topic here.

      Scum class in BA is vile and angers me. Ryanair tell me the hate me, but at least let me buy enough drinks, don't have the pocket, the entertainment box and..

      1. Cpt Blue Bear

        Re: I share your concern

        "Scum class in BA is vile and angers me"

        I haven't flown BA in 20 years. Back then it was surly service, threadbare seats and microwave dinners for inflight catering. In retrospect it was emblematic of England at the time. I see that they have gone downhill from there...

        These days I quite enjoy flying for work. That's mostly because I won't do it unless they send me business class. On most airlines you get wider seats and plenty of leg room plus a complimentary drink and can blag a second if you ask nicely. I've actually had a Singapore steward cover me with a blanket and tuck me in after falling asleep like they do in the ads.

        What, you won't spring for a seat up the front of the plane? Then its clearly not important that I go.

        1. MarkSitkowski

          Re: I share your concern

          I miss the silver service we used to get on BOAC *sigh*...

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Correlation is not causation

      "People being axed does not mean this would be avoided. That's speculation, at best. Good effort at making a news story without any information to go on, though."

      On the other hand, we've had previous stories of banking systems being upgraded remotely from Indian outsourcers going pear-shaped because they didn't know the systems as well as the long-experinced, now redundant locals. The odds are pretty good that if and when the real story leaks, it will be something similar, especially since the out-sourcers have only a few months of "live" experience with what is almost certainly a similar situation, ie multiple, incompatible legacy system all joined together with some fairly effective bodges but needing an experienced hand at the controls.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Correlation is not causation

        "the long-experienced, now allegedly redundant locals."

        FTFY

        1. MarkSitkowski

          Re: Correlation is not causation

          Wouldn't 'post hoc, ergo propter hoc' be a more accurate reflection of the situation?

    5. Arion

      Re: Correlation is not causation

      Seriously?

      In the general case yes; correlation is not causation, and yes; there's probably no causal link between internet explorer market share and murder rates, or between Autism diagnoses and organic food sold, even though the graphs show a correlation.

      This however was a database upgrade causing several hours outage, so I'm sorry, but without information to the contrary the most likely cause is an error by one of the people involved. That the people involved were changed out a few months back, then that's a little beyond correlation.

    6. Hargrove

      Re: Correlation is not causation

      We can confidently expect more of this as the number of bits of active code running, on "the system" continues to grow exponentially. Microsoft's plan to hoover apps and data has the appearance of a last ditch effort to cure the incurable. Some years ago, in an effort to sell the notion that "information superiority" would so awe a numerically superior enemy that that they would surrender without a shot, the US Department of Defense came up with the catch-phrase, "The network is the system."

      The US have since learned and adapted to the reality that it is the nature of cornered animals, including us, to bite. But the slogan had it right.

      The network is the system. And anything attached to it, including our new toaster oven, is part of it. The size and configuration of this system is indeterminate, and--as a practical matter--indeterminable.

      Every device, every component, every bit of code, and every user, human or automaton, is part of a vast, complex, dynamic, non-linear system.

      "But wait," the IT geeks cry, "it's DIGITAL; that's not non-linear."

      But it is. Network queueing theory tells us so. As does the fact that my Windows workstation regularly spikes to 100% Disc Usage, for no single discernible reason that anyone has been able to pin down that I'm aware of. Something to do with Skype, Chrome, your disc driver. . . (Then there all those ROHM'd transistors merrily sprouting tin whiskers.)

      The responses are all quintessentially non-linear.

      The history of computing, from Jacquard's one operation/second loom in 1806 to today's petaFLOP computers internetworked with literally millions of computational devices capable of giga- and teraFLOPs leads us to believe that there are no limits.

      It ain't necessarily so. The network is the system. Everyone hooked to it--including the connected cyberterrorist--are insiders.

      My perspective is admittedly biased by fond memories of programming computers the size of refrigerators by punching binary indicator light/switches on the font panel. Between then and now I've seen inconceivable changes. The problem is that those changes have evolved at inconceivable rates, with results that were unimaginable when the critical design decisions were being made. Those include radical changes to the "cyber-ecology" in which the internetworked system lives.

      All my experiences and observations persuade me that the flaws and failures reported in el Reg are symptoms of a more serious, potentially catastrophic condition. At this point, "Security First!" is just a marketing slogan. The IT community needs to give serious consideration to the possibility that the current design is not equipped to survive in the environment it created.

      We need to go back to first principles and ask what a system designed for security first in today's (and tomorrow's) cyber-ecology needs to look like. I suspect the answer will not look anything like what we have.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And it's back up it seems.

    Just tried ba.com and wham.

    1. Tom 64
      Coat

      Re: And it's back up it seems.

      I hope you liked the wham. I'm not a big fan myself. Too 80's.

      1. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: And it's back up it seems.

        wake me up when the web site go go. Ok I'm leaving

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: And it's back up it seems.

          No, no, no. Wham! Make It Big is the album that George and Andy earned the exclamation point.

  6. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Go

    The solution? Start with more outsourcing...

    Outsource the job of the exec who championed IT outsourcing to India for starters. Then proceed to outsource the finance types who did the cost justification and internal rate of return on the IT outsourcing.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: The solution? Start with more outsourcing...

      Nice idea but stockholders are the problem. They want their money and cutting the top paying jobs would be welcomed.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The solution? Start with more outsourcing...

        "stockholders are the problem. They want their money"

        I don't know how this will work out for BA's stockholders but it didn't do too well for United; I see from the Beeb that they're down 3%.

        1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: The solution? Start with more outsourcing...

          "didn't do too well for United" - BA's screw up while affecting many did not result in any reports of paying customers being assaulted because management incompetence. That is an improvement over the Unfriendly Skies where management reserves the right to 'Send in the Goons' on any pretext they can think of.

        2. Davegoody

          Re: The solution? Start with more outsourcing...

          "I don't know how this will work out for BA's stockholders but it didn't do too well for United; I see from the Beeb that they're down 3%."

          IMHO after what happened with United, I am amazed that they are not down TO 3% rather than merely down 3%

    2. EarthDog

      Re: The solution? Start with more outsourcing...

      Nah. AI is cheaper when it comes to spread sheet monkeys. AI never sleeps, never demands golden parachutes, or quarterly bonuses so they can buy that second trophy mistress.

  7. Tony S

    This comes about because of the common belief by far too many senior managers that "IT is a cost centre" rather than an investment to make money or increase profit.

    In their view, it makes perfect sense to trim the costs involved in providing IT services; and when things go wrong, they still don't see it as an issue, even when the financial team tell them how much they lost.

    In the end, the performance report is by the balance sheet; and reducing costs will be highlighted on there, whereas "lost sales" won't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think you meant to say "eventual lost sales" but how can i upvote you twice?

      As you say, too often companies only consider immediate cost or revenue from that quarter without considering the fact they are plowing the company into the ground by neglecting any common sense when it comes to long-term performance

    2. nijam

      Senior managers (and middle managers for that matter) are a much bigger cost centre than IT. But guess which of them gets to decide where to cut costs.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BA's parent company IAG is expected to report profits of 3 billion euro this year: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35662763

    Just think, if they hadn't cut the IT budget, maybe they'd only be making 2 billion profit. I'm so glad that they're unencumbered by concepts like customer and employee loyalty. /sarcasm

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      But how much has this outage cost them?

  9. Brian Miller

    Why fly?

    Yes, I realize it has to be done every once in a while. As seen with United, though, everything is at the business end of a billy club. Overbooked? Club the passengers off the plane. Here, we have an airline not allowing people on. And when you do go, you get searched in the most invasive way possible. And for things that only work in a movie script.

    If people really want to change how airlines do business, don't do business with them. Don't like the security? Travel by another means. There are alternatives to the sky buses, and you can fly without all the security theater bother.

    Act, and things change. Sit and stare, and nothing changes. You will choose, one way or another.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Why fly?

      Personally I take the train whenever possible. Yes, for some distances a flight is the only sane way, but I really, REALLY, avoid connecting flights whenever possible. Like most of central Europe once you land...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Travel by another means

      really...? The majority of flights cover journeys that are impractical by any other means.

      The cartel... ahem... code share // alliance system means there's rarely any choice on a route unless you happen to live next to LHR, CDG or similar so you're forced to accept what you are given.

      Unfortunately the setup costs of a new route mean once an airline has removed any competition they'll milk it for all it's worth

  10. wolfetone Silver badge

    Imagine the real carnage if the Ryanair website went down.

    "WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO PAY MORE TO BOOK IN PROPERLY?! YOUR WEBSITE IS DOWN! I CAN'T CHECK IN TO MY FLIGHT TO BENADORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRM"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't get me started on those b*stards.

      You can't print your return check in till you have landed on your outbound journey.

      Which b*stard came up with that money maker?

      Though to be fair most shops have cottoned on and print them for you at a cost...

      1. Nifty

        RE "You can't print your return check in till you have landed on your outbound journey"

        Had you thought of installing that 'app' thing that obviates the need to print out anything?

        1. jgarry

          Re: RE "You can't print your return check in till you have landed on your outbound journey"

          Flew Southwest a week ago, sHite site wouldn't respond to phone for return boarding pass. Screw apps. Took an hour to get a warm body to fix, phone battery anxiety

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: RE "You can't print your return check in till you have landed on your outbound journey"

          "Had you thought of installing that 'app' thing that obviates the need to print out anything?"

          No thanks, it'll probably want to know my location, contacts, files, microphone, camera and whether I wipe my arse with my left or right hand.

          1. Sandtitz Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: RE "You can't print your return check in till you have landed on your outbound journey"

            "No thanks, it'll probably want to know my location, contacts, files, microphone, camera and whether I wipe my arse with my left or right hand."

            Generally I just use toilet paper, hands are just the backup system.

            1. David 132 Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: RE "You can't print your return check in till you have landed on your outbound journey"

              @Sandtitz Really? You haven't figured out how to use the three shells yet?

  11. redpawn Silver badge

    Penny Wise

    Dumber than a bag of hammers. They should outsource their executive officers to recoup these losses.

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Penny Wise

      Good thing they aren't doing anything critical - like running an airline. Oh, hang on a mo............

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    schadenfreude

    noun, often capitalized scha·den·freu·de \ˈshä-dən-ˌfrȯi-də\

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    So the site was dead, not just TITSUP*

    *Total Inability To Serve Up Pages

  14. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Another story where the Reg printed "outage" and I read "outrage".

    At least this time it sort of fit the mood.

    1. Scroticus Canis
      Happy

      Re: Bah!

      I think you might be suffering from "Daily Mail-itis".

      A serious condition requiring immediate remedial action - imbibing alcohol. Call a drinking buddy immediately.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Manglement...

    HeadDashOH: How does this website work?

    HackIT: We offer complex products to a diverse customer base who then securely procure them via a multi-st...

    HeadDashOH: No, simplify it please!

    BrownNose: We put flights on shelves and customers buy them..

    HackIT: It;s much more complex than th..

    HeadDashOH: Sounds simple enough to me - I don't think we need many people for that!

    BrownNose: Efficiencies can be always made if w...

    HeadDashOH: I don't need the details - get it done.. Too many layabouts down there with their iPods!

    And that was all she wrote...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linking to Twitter

    Could you please *not* do that. Their website is pretty heavy and tends to freeze Firefox (single process, I know!) on less powerful or otherwise busy computers. Just quote inline whatever it is you want to quote.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Some of the jobs went overseas to an outsourcer "

    Haha hah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha chortle

  18. MakingBacon
    Facepalm

    A database upgrade is short for "we pleaded for any ex BA techies to help us in our plight and one was paid several thousand pounds for the sound advice to turn off the computer and turn it back on again"

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As one of those BA IT dudes that was deemed "surplus to requirements" the failure of their website doesn't surprise me at all. When I was still working their, all the BA employed IT people still had some pride in what they did (and maybe even a bit of loyalty, despite the company trying to destroy that as well).

    I suspect whatever caused this issue - which I strongly think was nothing to do with a "database fault" - simply wouldn't have happened if the BA IT staff were still employed. Outsourcers do not care for what they do - in fact, most Indian workers are told by their management to do the bare minimum within their contracts. And since BA is trying to screw them over more and more, is it any wonder that things go wrong?

    Incidentally, I'm now working for a company that had outsourced their IT, realised how shoddy and expensive it was, and is bringing it back in-house (and having to pay premium for good techies).

    Maybe BA will wake up one day.....

    1. Millennia

      I'm an IT outsourcer (Managed Cloud) and I DO care about my customers - but then I'm totally UK based and realise happy customers are long term ones - longest running one 15 years and counting.

      I thought all this outsource to India shit was dead in the water now, never seen it do anything but cost more in the end.

      1. nijam

        As an aside, can we just be clear that other locations than India are available for outsourcing and India is by no means the worst possibility...

        1. EndOutsourcing

          Maybe India's not the worst possible place for outsourcing. But then I've never heard of any company outsourcing to Sierra Leone or Bolivia.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "As one of those BA IT dudes that was deemed "surplus to requirements" the failure of their website doesn't surprise me at all."

      As I commented on a similar story elsewhere, the in-house team have skin in the game.

    3. Triggerfish

      Outsourcers do not care for what they do - in fact, most Indian workers are told by their management to do the bare minimum within their contracts.

      I always get the impression from a lot outsourcing disasters that after the questions have been asked about SLAs for answering in two rings, and calls taking no longer than three minutes, no one thinks to ask "But is it fixed after that three minute call?"

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brief moment of Schadenfreude...

    - Had 2 grand taken from me by this airline last year...

    - Warning to anyone planning to transit through the UK. Be careful, as the airline can deny boarding at departure yet keep the entire cost of the flight.

    - I protested the unfair treatment via credit-card resolution but got nowhere. The regulator was even less interested in helping.

    - There are some fine laws regarding air-transit through UK airports that isn't well publicized, if at all, and if you get caught up in that net you're screwed!

    - After the aggressive treatment of the Doctor on the overbooked United flight this week, I'd say United and BA deserve each other.

    - Things will only get worse too with Brexit etc...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahh British Airways

    Inefficiency meets Soviet era customer service.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outsourcing ... a broken model

    I have been in IT since 1995 and have yet to see one example of where outsourcing anything has been a success. I do realise that I am now going to get a hundred replies along the lines of "and what have the Romans ever done for us"

  23. Andy 97

    Shareholders demanded cost saving.

    I'm sure they are all delighted with the result.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      The trouble is that, by and large, the ultimate shareholders of everything are all our pension schemes. That means it's all our fault.

  24. Maldax

    The better the IT department the less it's noticed by the powers that be apart from the big negative number on the ballance sheet. Maybe we should just turn shit off now and again just to prove we are worth the money. Now that is f**ked up!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You can't win. If you turn it all off now and again, then you're shit, and it needs outsourcing. If you get on with it quietly then you're clearly not required because nothing ever goes wrong, and you're just an expensive unnecessary overhead that can be got rid of.....

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Maybe we should just turn shit off now and again just to prove we are worth the money."

      I've always thought that that should be the response to beancounters wondering about the value of this "cost" centre. "Shall we turn it off for a day and see?".

      And isn't it surprising that those who invented the term "cost centre" never see themselves for what they are: a cost centre?

    3. Hazmoid

      My old boss did that

      As IT support for a major stockbroker, he told the chairman that if the chairman doesn't see him then things are going well. regular upgrades are our way of making sure that users don't forget us.

    4. Jason 24

      I have found that letting it hit the fan once in a while can be an excellent tool to finally getting the nod to get something else done.

      But then I've never worked at anywhere this high level, maybe that doesn't extrapolate up.

  25. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    There's outsourcing and then there's outsourcing.

    Both are not the same.

    If you outsource simply to cut costs, you're setting yourself up for an epic fail.

  26. Tricky48

    Maybe if the tech team had done a good job in the first place

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Hold on!

      "Maybe if the tech team had done a good job in the first place"

      Oh, are you familiar with the team you mention?

      If you are then please let us know what it is that they did wrong. If you do not then you are either just trolling or an accountant at BA trying to justify the inevitable cock-up that has just occurred.

      Personally I was subject to this "outsourcing magic" Our team who had built and maintained the systems were ditched for people brought in from India. From what I heard later the whole thing turned into a shambles and the company involved had to take the support in-house again.

      See, the thing is you get what you pay for.

  27. Doogie Howser MD

    Testing? Err...yeah

    I couldn't help but wonder why a "database upgrade" (if indeed it was this) would cause such a profound effect on their website. I mean, even in the world of outsourcing they must have test scripts and maybe even blue/green or A/B environments for test/dev/staging to prod? (I know that might be a stretch).

    In my experience, off shore staff do precisely what they're told, when they're told and nothing else. If they're told to click next next finish, they'll do it. Ultimately someone higher up the chain than button bashers should take the blame for a total lack of acceptance testing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Testing? Err...yeah

      https://xkcd.com/327/

      little bobby tables :)

  28. Paul Woodhouse

    Good thing I'm prepared to pay more to NOT have to travel on British Airways I think... urgh... just the name makes me want to rant about how shit they are...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It was the Windows update, then. "I'm sorry, Windows XP support has ended. Is your plane flying on Windows 10?" Maybe that's not shit in your yard, it's flaming pieces of the fuselage.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "It was the Windows update, then."

      So it was your fault? You asked for a window seat and look what happened.

  30. SailingDutchman

    Google search page still showing "sorry page"

    As of now, Google's search results page is showing "British Airways - Splash Page" as the home page. The Google cache shows the actual "sorry page" from the outage.

    Sigh... more developers who don't understand that they shouldn't use "200 OK" when displaying an error page. Of App Delivery folks who can't or don't want to support proper 5xx-codes. Or both.

    I'm adding the screen captures to my list of examples for when I once more try to explain the difference between "503" and "200". It probably won't make a difference, though.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I heard...

    One of United's databases needed to change data centre, so local security beat the shit out of a random BA doctorwebsite which turned out to actually have important reasons for being up.

    No worries though, apparently the United CEO sent an internal memo saying it's all good as the BA website was being uncooperative and therefore deserved it anyway!

  32. Potemkine Silver badge

    Let's rejoice!

    It's not often that true Justice is served on Earth.

    IT is too often seen as a cost, a nuisance, something that has to be eradicated, at least outsourced... and then everything falls apart, and it's still because of IT. Isn't life wonderful?

  33. Skoorb

    The CEO's nightmare

    When I was at university we had the then CTO of BA come and talk to us about their approach to informatics. The big quote that stood out to me was that the CEO's (and CTO's) big nightmare at the time was of getting a phone call saying "ba.com is down", as so much of their operations and sales required a web presence.

    Looks like their nightmare came true.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The CEO's nightmare

      Self-inflicted wound.

  34. Scroticus Canis
    Holmes

    "database upgrade overnight caused the outage"

    Yes. Some upgrade, what? Well tested obviously.

  35. creepy gecko

    Karma. :-)

  36. EnviableOne Bronze badge

    IIRC - BA's uk it was already outsourced

  37. Mad Jack
    Devil

    All publicity is good...

    They're doing it on purpose because they're jealous of all the publicity United Airlines are getting! I expect there will be a line of guards in Hugo Boss uniforms with cuffs and coshes at the door of every BA aircraft shortly!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Profits > customers

    Simple math on the part of BA; profits ahead of customers. These things have a way of working out over time, though usually not the way executives intend. OTOH, the executive(s) in question will have likely moved on by the time the chickens come home to roost, so maybe their personal bonuses will get paid but their successors will be hanged.

  39. EndOutsourcing

    It's not that they were laid off, exactly...

    ... it's by whom they were replaced. I'm sure that laying off British workers and replacing them with outsourcing looked great on some MBA manager's spreadsheet, but the reality is that service and quality levels can not be maintained that way.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BA= Budget Airline

    How many times do I have to repeat that?

    Met some of the most arrogant, cocky and egoistic crews I have ever encountered.

    BA= Bastards All.

    Nuff said.

  41. Melanie Winiger

    You reap what you sow

    I worked at Big Airways in the 1980s when the IT department led the way with advanced GUIs for Inventory Control, pioneered ticketless travel for Shuttle passengers and other innovations.

    When you lose control, outsource your core PSS (Passenger Service System), treat programming like building an Ikea wardrobe and the competition is beating you on pure ticket price, then you get an endgame like this.

  42. Sam Crawley

    Those who forget the past...

    Looks like it's down again, receiving MSM coverage too, ba.com shows a 404 and according to the reports operations are affected, planes not leaving etc. Bank holiday weekend DB upgrade perchance?

    1. BB

      Re: Those who forget the past...

      Absolutely incredible. How are the managers responsible still in a job...? Looks like teflon politics have spread from the banks to the airline industry.

  43. Rhino Djanghardt

    Latest Excuse

    According to BBC News, BA's CEO said today's failure was caused by "a power supply issue". Really? Did it affect one or both Data Centres, I wonder? How about: 1. Poor HA design, 2. Inadequate (or absent) testing, 3. Deficient routine maintenance ... But surely not a SPOF?

  44. dgap

    Good luck getting TCS to fix anything within a reasonable timescale, or to fix anything in a way that stays fixed. There's a reason they're cheap.

  45. ecofeco Silver badge

    I'm having serious manglement Schadenfreude

    See title.

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