MSNArabia's travel site stalls on the runway

One week after the official re-launch of MSNArabia.com’s travel channel, and the online booking system is still suffering teething problems.

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By  Rob Corder Published  January 21, 2003

One week after the official re-launch of MSNArabia.com’s travel channel, and the online booking system is still suffering teething problems.

On the day the channel was announced to the media, a routine online enquiry about a return flight to Amman from Dubai was greeted by the following error message: “We apologize but due to heavy traffic, our link to Galileo's Reservation System has temporarly [sic] become unstable. System administrators of MyTravelChannel have been notified of this situation and will resolve it as soon as possible. Please try again a bit later.”

When ITP.net pointed out the fault, David Robertson, business development manager for eVentures Group (a division of Emirates Group), explained that when the site switched over from the old MSNarabia travel channel to the new one, they started experiencing congestion problems that appeared to be caused by an unprecedented level of demand.

An immediate investigation tracked the problem down to a glitch at the mainframe-based Galileo Global Distribution System, which was resolved within three days, according to Robertson.

Moreover, Robertson suggested that the problem was only encountered with enquiries for flights from the UAE.

Unfortunately, five days after the original failures, problems still persist. ITP.net ran the same routine enquiry for a return flight to Amman from Dubai. This time, we encountered the following message: “Uh-Oh!! There is congestion on the connection (probably due to the extraordinary offers on flights from Dubai – AE).

Worse still, a similar enquiry for a return flight to Amman from Riyadh drew an identical response.

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