The following paper highlights a problematic issue of Delta Airlines that impacted their services to a great extent. The issue is regarding the computer outage and the peril of hacking that in turn causing the delays in flight schedules. The role of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in this scenario also elucidated. Delta Air Lines, Inc. is the eminent airline of America. The airline operates about five thousand and four hundred flights daily with the association of its subs and other territorial affiliates. Moreover, it carries a broad network of international and domestic flights with a considerable number of 319 destinations of fifty-four countries of 6 continents. It is the founding associate of SkyTeam Airlines and its regional subsidiaries operating under the name of Delta Connection.
A Delta airline is facing a major programming problem on a frequent basis that also affects the schedules of its flights. This issue is a systematic computer outage that delays the flights of Delta across the planet. This issue is not an accidental one as it occurs in an episodic manner and takes place on the frequent basis. Take the recent instances of the power outage in 2016 during the season of summer travel and the recent incident that happened in January 2017. The reasons of such outages are still a subject of investigation, and it is believed that it is a human error rather than a technological. A few asserts the possibility of hacking but whatever the reason is it turns out to be a critical factor that affects the profit margins of Delta and also makes the service standards dubious. Whatever the reason of such calamities, it is necessary to identify the sources and to develop and implement prevention practices to sustain the smooth operations of airlines.
The havoc delaying of flights makes the passenger irritated, and they feel suspicious regarding their arrival and departure possibilities. A few critics insist that it is better to choose an option to travel on a bicycle than to get aboard with Delta as their flights can be delayed at any time, at any place. The power outage that occurred in 2016 led the organization to call off hundreds of international scheduled flights. The problem, however, seemed to be resolved by the day, yet the effect of outage persisted to impact the other global transportation system and became the reason of other subsequent delays across the world. After this entire chaotic scenario, the problem still does not show any signs of improvement as the recent technological glitch that withdraw hundreds of scheduled flights. Nevertheless, this episodic outage of 2017 was smaller in duration as compared to other such accidental power faults that cost the Delta about millions of dollars.
This frequent fragility of computers depicts a serious prospect of imminent operational risks that can also affect the reputation and business ranking of Delta and may cost it a fortune. An adequate comprehension of this matter is required to resolve the foundation of this problem and to avoid such devastating delays and subsequent outcomes. To retain the customers and market repo; it is indispensable for the Delta to maintain its service quality and to develop the strategic framework in this regard. The role of FAA is also significant to implement prevention measures in this regard. The following content evaluates the different aspect of Delta in the context of this major problem.
AN ANALYSIS OF PROBLEMATIC ISSUES
Delta airlines encounter a major problem regarding the system-wide outage that causes the delay in scheduled flights and affects the operation on an international level. This malfunctioning of computer systems lead the Delta toward a disastrous situation and makes its customers disappointed. The higher authorities of United States asserted that as a glitch that was occurred due to an unexpected outage of power. This error implied a substantial effect on the computer systems of Delta and its operational efficacy across the planet. The organization and relevant department made efforts to fix the problem promptly, but yet Delta experienced a “large-scale cancellations” due to all that hullaballoo. The management apologizes for the disturbance and dissatisfaction, but the problems do not seem to end with a single incident. The similar outage of power and computer system persists, and still causing a disruption as recently a system-wide power outage observed again.
Delta airline operates in the highly competitive industry and has established a significant position in the marketplace by offering competitive fares, routes, the range of destinations and customer services as well as scheduled frequency and timings. The organization is implementing various strategies to develop a strong network of international and domestic flights and transforming its horizons by seeking enhanced alliances. These new associations will help the Delta to sail in new waters and to have a solid financing structure as well as an extended competitive network globally. However, the current chaotic situation of computer outage and the hazard of hacking possibility cast a noteworthy threat to Delta’s claim of competitive scheduling timing and frequency. This single factor can be disastrous for the overall reputation and market position of the organization and therefore here is an immediate need to analyze the circumstances and their reasons with carefully lest it will ruin the public image of Delta Airlines and dissatisfied customers will shift to any other substitutive service.
There are many ways available that can be taken into account to deliver the satisfactory solution to this problem. Throughout the incident coverage, the spokesperson Georgia Power affirms that the problem was occurred due to the equipment failure of Delta. Evidently, a system of airline comprised of massive, interconnected and complicated information technological systems that are installed to tackle each and every aspect from ticketing to boarding and all other relevant activities. This overlapping operational commands and interrelation of technological systems sometimes deny working accordingly. And it is explained whenever a new system element is implemented with the integration of other aging equipment then such complex systematic failure happens. The limitations of IT systems for a large airline organization imply that a hundred percent reliability cannot be expected. Experts say that such systems fail when a considerable change takes place in their integration and overall framework. For example, an updating in the computer system may cause such havoc situation. But here is a question arises that other airlines are working with similar massive computer systems then why it occurs so frequently with Delta only.
To cover up the bad experience of 2016’s power outage, Delta Airlines adopted a strategy of proactive and preemptive to offer their apologies to their customers, but unfortunately, that plan did not turn out well. The proactive and preemptive tactics are used to attend clients’ matters even before their actual occurrence. Such strategies are common in Amazon and Southeast organizations. By adopting this approach, a business promises to preemptively resolve the problems of an individual customer before or throughout the business-related interaction and in turn promptly improve and sustain the service quality and customer’s experience to retain them and to evade the risk of adverse publicity. However, Delta did not apply it in its true essence, and customers took it as a mockery because the implemented measures did not have any particular parameters to improve the perceived value of their services.
The above-given questionnaire based interface highlights a fragment of Delta’s strategic efforts in this regard. However, the inefficacy of following services and inability to fix the power and computer support outage created an environment for dubiousness among customers. It is highly recommended that Delta invests a considerable amount in the restructuring of its computer-based systems to augment the level of their reliability. Transportation Attorney Mary Schiavo states that such incidents have taken place approximately four times before and is not acceptable because it is tarnishing the image of American transportation on the global scale. She further stresses the need for a precisely regulated agenda from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and emphasizes on the indispensability of remedies in this regard. He says that “the FAA they are allegedly the oversight regulatory body of the airline. But their role has become so limited.” (Schiavo, 2016)
Regarding the all this ado Ed Bastian the CEO of Delta gives a statement that “Delta has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in technology infrastructure upgrades and systems, including backup systems to prevent what happened yesterday from occurring.” (Bastian, 2016) It elucidates that investment in this department is not the solution to this problem and organization has to conduct an evaluation of subject more cautiously. Phenomenally the shutting down of power happened in data center boosts the calamity of recovery or backup plan. Therefore it is suggested to go for two options in such disastrous situation one is the shifting of the backup system somewhere else so it would work properly. And the second is to repair the shutting down to recover the primary system-wide computers.
The schedules’ timings and frequencies are one of the fundamental strength of Delta and offer it a competitive advantage over other rivals. Therefore to maintain this power Delta needs a well-planned set of strategies for both address the customer dissatisfaction and to resolve the frequent outages and to establish a secured and a workable backup plan to sustain such shutting down events. Management is also seeking the feasibility toward the power suppliers and estimating the improved measures to enhance the capability of IT support teams to attend such problems in a prompt manner. After the recent incident of computer outage Delta has doubled their endeavors to sort out this issue on priority basis. Experts also suggest involving the governmental authorities to develop a few regulatory frameworks to tackle this issue on the national level.
Another major blunder that was observed at the time of the power crisis in 2016 was the management’s focus on brand instead of customers. The managerial authorities of Delta were trying to save the face of their business reputation, and in this endeavors, they almost forgot to console the clients who were the directly affected by the incident. Delta Airlines has Excellency in the field of marketing, and that was the reason they made continuous efforts to save their public image throughout the power shut down. They spent an impressive amount on communicational channels to apologize their customers however the efforts that are made on customer level were inadequate. The frontline staff of Delta perfectly accommodated the devastating customers at that time, but the higher level pronouncements were a bit disappointing. Delta only issued a waiver that covers only one day that was not a feasible action to take at that catastrophic time. In future Delta is devising plans to avoid such discrepancies to win the favor of their valuable asset: the customers.
The above-analyzed problem of Delta airlines and the side effects that occur because of that issue depict that Delta is facing a hazard of losing customers because of their constant power and subsequent computer outages. The recent incidents of shutting down systems that caused the delayed flights not only in the state but all across the planet cost the Delta a considerable amount of hundreds of millions of dollar just in a day. But there is an immediate need to address this issue and to resolve the underlying reasons that might cause such calamity. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected to play its role in this regard to formulate and implement rules to be followed by all airlines. Moreover, any possibility of system hacking should also be evaluated and mitigated
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