Glitch in iPad app causes travel headaches for American Airlines passengers

The software issue affected several dozen flights, said the carrier

Some American Airlines passengers faced lengthy flight delays on Tuesday after a fault in the iPad navigation app used by the carriers' pilots and co-pilots caused the tablets to crash.

"Some flights are experiencing an issue with a software application on iPads," American Airlines said on Twitter to a passenger whose flight was delayed.

The glitch appeared to impact the airline's fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft and occurred suddenly.

"Pilot says *all* #AmericanAirlines pilot iPads in 737 fleet went dead, all at once," passenger Stephen Edmonds wrote on Twitter.

American flies more Boeing 737s than any other aircraft type, according to information on the airline's website. Of the 627 planes American operates, 226 are that type of plane, potentially causing travel headaches for several passengers.

American didn't immediately reply to a request for comment. The carrier told some media outlets the glitch affected several dozen flights.

The iPads run software from Jeppesen, which makes navigation applications for the aviation and marine industries. Jeppesen didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

Travelers in Dallas, New York and Chicago reported that the software bug had grounded their flights. The glitch apparently caused flight 1654 from Dallas to Austin, Texas, to depart three hours late, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. The flight was scheduled to leave at 8:20 p.m. local time, but didn't take off until 11:24 p.m.

"IPad bug has @AmericanAir #737 fleet grounded Sitting at #DFW on #ATX bound plane because Captains iPad crashed," Bill Jacaruso, who was on flight 1654, wrote on Twitter.

The problem appeared to be resolved a few hours after the iPads went down. Some tablets were connected to a Wi-Fi network after the plane returned to the gate, American told some news organizations.

In other instances, the pilots resorted to old-fashioned methods to get the information they needed.

"We are in the air. Pilots printed the maps," tweeted Serge Gojkovich, who was flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

IPads started appearing in the cockpits of American jets in 2013 to save pilots and co-pilots from having to carry around heavy paper manuals, navigation charts and reference material. Going digital would reduce the plane's weight and save the airline more than US$1.2 million in fuel every year, said American.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iPadtabletsApplehardware systemsamerican airlines

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?