Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bug in Airline Reservation System Resolved by KLM

I wrote before about finding an annoying bug in airline reservation systems that prevented booking multi-city itineraries. I reported the bug to Singapore Airlines and KLM through their web site feedback links.

The result was interesting. SQ wrote back saying "We regret the problem, will look into it", while the KLM bot answered "We are very busy and unlikely to reply in less than 4 weeks". 4 weeks!! Guess their SLA was written by retired union negotiator...

The results have been even more interesting.

SQ has done nothing to fix the problem.

After I got frustrated and just phoned KLM Singapore directly,
they, in the person of Nura Akbar, engaged me in a series of emails to understand and fix the problem.

Well done Nura, and well done KLM.

The actual problem turns out to be in a configuration setting. The default value for Minimum Connection Time (MCT) is 12 hours. It seems none of the airlines bothered to set this properly, so it was impossible to book a flight that departed less than 12 hours after the arrival of the previous flight.

Now if KLM would just allow seat assignments during online bookings...

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