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Crashed database shuts down Air Canada website

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April 29, 2008

A crashed database with one of Air Canada’s websites over the weekend had apparently no impact on customer information, the airline claims. On April 24, users trying to use Air Canada’s site to book flights or log into their Aeroplan accounts were met with various and confusing error messages.

An Air Canada passenger posted a message on the weekend quoting the error message he received: "NOTICE: aircanada.com member signin is temporarily unavailable. Customers may continue to make regular bookings on aircanada.com by continuing as a guest on the Review Flight Details page." He posted his message on the online forum FlyerTalk.

The message advised flight pass holders to try again later or to contact Air Canada reservations, according to his posting.

"Air Canada operations weren't affected during this time, and there was no impact on customer information," said John Reber, Air Canada’s manager for media relations.

The company also claimed that regular flight bookings were not affected either, as users could log in as a guest.

Still, some users got very worried. One posted a message: "An outage of this length might imply some kind of data corruption issue: Check your account balances!".

Reber added that no customer’s data was affected in any way.

He added an outage occurred last Thursday during routine maintenance of the database, and the system was restored a few days later.

He maintained that back-up systems were in place and did what they are meant to do, to bring systems back online with their appropriate data restored.

Reber finished by saying “our priority at all times was to ensure that personal data was appropriately safeguarded and that thorough testing was conducted to make sure that, once restored, the system would run smoothly.”

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Source: Air Canada

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