1960s computer dating

Departure boards show some Delta flights as cancelled flights after Delta Air Lines' computer systems crashed on Monday, grounding flights around the globe, at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, U. But they have avoided the steep cost of rebuilding their reservations systems from the ground up, former airline executives said."Most airlines were on the verge of going out of business for many years, so investment of any kind had to have short pay-back periods," said Nason, who left American in 2009 and is now an independent consultant.) operating system known as Transaction Processing Facility, or TPF.

Airlines have spent heavily to introduce new features such as automated check-in kiosks, real-time luggage tracking and slick mobile apps.

Airlines are then forced to cancel flights as demands from stranded customers flood their employees - who meanwhile are handling bookings on an older platform without their familiar, modern tools, he said.

IBM Senior Vice President Tom Rosamilia said in a statement that TPF "was not named as the source or issue in any of the recent outages" and that it "is one of the most modern and reliable systems in the airline infrastructure."Delta spokeswoman Kate Modolo said in a statement that a small fire on Monday resulted in a "massive failure" at the airline's technology center.

Delta was forced to cancel flights because critical systems did not switch over to backup power as intended, she said.

Modolo did not answer whether Delta relies on TPF, but said "the functionality of the IT programs we use" was not an issue.

She had no comment on whether Delta had decreased or increased its spending on back-end technology over the past decade."We have a new CIO who has a go-forward plan to ensure Delta is on the cutting edge of customer service technology while strengthening our IT infrastructure so that it is reliable, redundant and nimble," she said in a statement.

In response to questions from Reuters, those airlines did not answer whether their aging systems put them at risk of future disruptions, but all stressed that they are upgrading their technology and are focused on reliability.Southwest, for example, said it is in the process of replacing its reservations system. and Canadian airlines are projected to spend an average of 3 percent of their revenue on information technology this year - compared to 8 percent by commercial banks and 4 percent by healthcare firms, according to Computer Economics, a firm that tracks IT spending. Henry Harteveldt, founder of the travel consultancy Atmosphere Research Group, said some airlines are choosing to risk outages that might cost them million to million rather than invest, for example, 0 million on technology upgrades.Earlier this week, in a video statement, Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian said: "Over the last three years, we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars on technology infrastructure upgrades and systems including backup systems to prevent what happened yesterday from occurring. Nason cautioned that comparing technology spending by airlines to some other industries, including banking, can be tricky. He believes investors and the general public will apply increasing pressure on airlines to avoid outages at any cost.Banks have lower capital costs and they rely more heavily on information technology for their core business. Yet it can be hard to convince airline management that the cost-benefit analysis justifies the major investments to make their computer systems truly fail-safe, said Edwards, the former United chief information officer.Airlines have also held off on making major network upgrades out of fear that systems could fail during the transition, making them feel that they cannot afford to take them down to add equipment, install patches and perform other maintenance, said Gartner analyst Mark Jaggers."It is unfair to the traveling public that the cost of under-investment in needed equipment be shifted and placed on the back of air travelers," said travel consumer advocates Paul Hudson and Charlie Leocha in a letter to the heads of the U. AMSTERDAM Self-driving boats and assemblies of robotic platforms will one day shuttle people and goods along Amsterdam's centuries-old canals - if a project part-funded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology bears fruit.ABU DHABI Ride-hailing services such as Uber [UBER.