Captain Obvious Offers IT Advice to US Airlines

The historical idea of the Senate predates the Roman Republican, originating as the King’s council. Over time under the new Republic the Senate gained power as the nation transitioned to constitutional rule. Eventually Rome’s executive concentrated power, and the Senate became less important.

Nonetheless, the US constitution creates a Senate which harkens back to more august times, and the Senate has often been called “world’s greatest deliberative body” though I know of few people who consider it as such today.

Because instead of concerning itself with matters of war and peace (the US largely goes to war on the instructions of the President, constitutional requirements notwithstanding) or for that matter executive overreach as it impinges on civil liberties, US Senators have taken on IT sales and consulting.

Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote Tuesday to the leaders of 13 U.S. airlines, including United, Delta, American and Southwest, saying they are “concerned with recent reports indicating that airlines’ IT systems may be susceptible to faltering because of the way they are designed and have been maintained.”

…“We encourage you to ensure that your IT systems have the appropriate safeguards and backups in place to withstand power outages, technological glitches, cyberattacks and other hazards ….” the two senators wrote to Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

Senator Blumenthal can hook them up with a good deal on a data center, and discount servers to boot, as long as they’re willing to sign a 3 year contract and execute it before the end of the quarter.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Look in the mirror. You constantly tell your flock all the mistakes the airlines make based upon your “analysis” and “thought leadership” yet you’ve *NEVER* worked for an airline.

  2. Because Democratic Senators are so good and careful with computers, servers and serving the public.

  3. @josh g, pretty sure there is a difference between writing in a blog and various media outlets versus a lawmaker writing a letter to executives. Everybody is entitled to express their opinion like you just have in regard to writing a blog, which you may have no expertise in, however, a lawmaker writing a letter from their office is a completely different matter

  4. @DaninMCI, to answer your question, the Senators obviously updated the letter they sent to H>Clinton and would qualify as subject matter experts in this instance.

    @JoshG: Have you ever tried to talk to someone at an airline, hotel, or credit-card issuer for any non-routine issue? We read this blog for advice and news, to clarify the * and fine print attached to every promotion that sounds too good to be true. Employment history with an airline is not a prerequisite for keeping me up to date with their shenanigans.

  5. Since airline transportation is considered a life blood of the US, I don’t think their letter is out of place at all. If this is kind of nudge that the airlines need to fix their IT, so be it. With the exception of American, all the other airlines have blended IT from their mergers. But it also would be nice for the FAA to fix their ATC. Another wish for the next administration, I guess.

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