Virgin, Tiger, Jetstar And Rex Airport Check-Ins Hit For Six Australia-Wide

Virgin, Tiger, Jetstar And Rex Airport Check-Ins Hit For Six Australia-Wide

Were you planning to catch a flight today? You could face significant delays as Tiger, Virgin, Jetstar and Rex battle technical issues with their computerised check-in systems. Qantas appears unaffected, but for the other airlines, they’ve been forced to process would-be flyers manually.

Virgin’s Twitter account posted the following at 11:36am today:

Virgin Australia is currently experiencing an IT outage that is affecting check in processes at airports. We apologise for delays.

It soon became clear that Virgin wasn’t the only airline suffering computer problems, as this article on The Age details. It states that Jetstar’s systems began resurrecting themselves from 11:45am onwards, but there’s no mention what state the other three airlines are in. Even if services are restored, it will likely take time to sort out the mess.

All four are apparently heaping blame onto Navitaire, which provides the airlines with their check-in software.

Another story over at suggests the fault has delayed some flights by up to three hours, with Jetstar saying delays of two hours or more should be expected.

If you’ve been affected, please hit up the comments and let us know how you’re faring. We’ll update this story as we get more information.

Update: Accenture, which supplies the airlines with Navitaire, has issued the following statement:

A power failure occurred in a third party data centre in Sydney which impacted the Navitaire reservation systems. We are working closely with all impacted clients to restore services as quickly as possible.

Airport chaos after check-in systems crash [The Age]

Travellers experiencing delays as Jetstar and Virgin Australia check-in system fails []

Thanks Pru Q for the pic!


  • Virgin are making some big changes in January including moving their system from Navitaire to SabreSonic. This should result in some improvements in uptime. Eg almost 100%

  • The outage was apparently caused by ‘a power failure in a third-party data centre’. With all their redundant power systems, how do data centres have power failures? Maybe Navitaire is outsourcing cheap cloud systems to India? Jetstar also has VanceInfo as its solutions providers and consultants, a Beijing-based company. Do you think there might be a security concern putting vital systems in the hands of the Chinese government?

    • I know of equipment shut-downs from a equipment in a “Third Party” datacentre at about the same time – the specifics I saw were a moderately long power failure to Air-Con equipment which caused much of the heat-sensitive equipment into automatic precautionary shut-downs.

      (I’m speculating based on similar timing and probable locations, without knowing exactly which data centres the Navitaire is in, there’s no way to be certain it’s the same issue.)

      So while it was technically a power failure, the failures were actually due to secondary effects of a secondary system failure, not because the servers themselves had lost power. – It’s the sort of rare/unlikely/convoluted event that most risk-analysis figures that’s too expensive to plan for.

      The servers most likely shut themselves down because the room became too hot. Any servers remaining in service at that or other data centres likely couldn’t handle the load.

  • Qantas was affected.

    Good planning, and very prompt action by a lot of people got Qantas’ public facing systems running with minimal impact, but the internal systems were a mess.

    I was up for almost 18 hours solid on my part, others were in a much worse condition. I don’t think most people appreciate just how high the pressure is for people doing IT support for airlines. When you are talking tens of thousands of passengers potentially waiting for hours or worse – missing a flight and their entire dream vacation ruined. Then add in more dollars than you can poke a stick at you (seriously, the financial loss is absolutely staggering) a lot falls on you to get it back up taking any and all steps.

    Worst IT problem was a few years back, ended up being 36 hours awake. Hard work for everyone involved but we got through it and there was again minimal impact to the travelling public.

    Spare a thought for the Aussies and international contractors working their butts off to try to get your plane in the air, on time, every single hour of every single day. You can talk about system failures or whatever, blow them off as being cheap labour, but there are actually real life people out there, maybe a guy down the street who is working hard around the clock to make sure that plane takes off.

    Sorry musashi, (and I will qualify myself as a multi-generational Aussie first for your benefit) but the Indian contractors I work with daily, both in Australia and in India are the nicest, friendliest and most professional people you would ever see. There is a large difference between that guy you spoke to in a call centre once and the university educated (usually in the USA, London or Australia) IT professionals in India most likely being paid than you earn.

    Racism is never nice.

  • Jay, who said anything about racism? If you have the inside track on what happened to Jetstar’s Navitaire system tell us about it. Was it really a ‘data centre power failure’?

  • Not surprised. Australian businesses are some of the worse managed in the world.

    Apparently, none have heard the phrase “Business Continuity Plan”.

    And, no, this is not the same as “Disaster Rercovery Plan”.

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