Apollo Reservation System Suffers Worldwide Outage

The Apollo reservation system used by United Airlines was down worldwide for at least four hours Tuesday. A call to a reservation agent at the airline’s Premier Executive reservation line confirmed the outage. internetnews.com was unable to confirm details of the cause of the outage at press time.

At 5:45 P.M. Pacific time the agent told internetnews.com that service had been “down worldwide” for four hours and was expected to be restored within thirty to forty-five minutes. A call back twenty minutes later to another agent confirmed those details though the second agent said there had been no word on when service might be restored.

United and partner Lufthansa announced back in September its plan to join the Star Alliance airline network to create “a next generation technology platform” for passenger service systems. Using information technology provider Amadeus, the airlines said they plan to build a Common IT Platform that would see Lufthansa and United replace their own legacy IT systems, and eventually add other members.

While the carriers’ current IT systems all use different technologies, the new platform is based on a common technical infrastructure and software. The heart of the new system offers enhanced customer service functionalities, specifically for both sales and airport environments, and includes such transactions as schedule, availability, inventory, reservations, fare quote and ticketing as well as passenger check-in, the companies said in the September statement.

But the transition to the new system isn’t expected to begin until the second half of this year when Lufthansa will begin moving the first functions from its current system to the Common IT Platform. Completion isn’t expected until the end of 2007. As of the September statement, United had not finalized its migration timeline.

Another few outages like Tuesday’s, depending on what the causes turn out to be, may well speed the migration to a new system.

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