Charlotte Talks: Airline Tech Outages Become More Frequent / 'Near-Normal' Hurricane Season Forecast

Jun 21, 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018

More than 2,500 PSA Airlines flights have been canceled since last Thursday because of a computer outage.
Credit Twitter / Erik Spanberg (@CBJspanberg)

After a multi-day computer outage stranded hundreds of travelers in Charlotte, Mike Collins talks with industry observers about why these glitches seem to be increasing. Then, a look at the Atlantic hurricane season, which is off to a deadly start in North Carolina.

PART ONE

“You can’t get there from here” has been the mantra at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport for passengers of PSA Airlines, the American Airlines-owned regional carrier that has canceled more than 2,500 flights since last Thursday because of a computer malfunction that hit Charlotte particularly hard.

These computer snafus have been a recurring problem for airlines in recent years. Both Delta and Southwest Airlines dealt with technical outages in 2016 that caused several days of canceled flights and cost each carrier tens of millions of dollars.

Why have these computers become weak links in the air travel system, and what are the airlines doing about it?

GUESTS

Seth Kaplan, managing partner, Airline Weekly

Charles Leocha, president and co-founder, Travelers United

PART TWO

The Atlantic hurricane season is off and running, and the lead-off storm - Alberto - killed five people in North Carolina, triggered mudslides in the mountains and left an estimated $50 million in damage to the region. 

Mudslides and rain from Subtropical Storm Alberto caused an estimated $50 million in damage in western North Carolina.
Credit Twitter / NC Dept. of Transportation (@NCDOT)

It’s forecast to be a near- or above-normal storm season, with between ten and sixteen named storms, and is not expected to be as active as last year - one of the most destructive on record.

Meanwhile, portions of eastern North Carolina are preparing for the season while still rebuilding from 2016’s Hurricane Matthew.

We get an outlook for the unfolding storm season, and whether the state is ready for it.

GUESTS

Brad Panovich, chief meteorologist, NBC Charlotte (@wxbrad)

Dr. Gavin Smith, director, University of North Carolina's Coastal Resilience Center