IT consultant: American Airlines glitch "absolutely" preventable

- Last week's American Airlines glitch with their regional carrier PSA "absolutely" could have been prevented, according to an information technology security consultant. 

"Any modern-day infrastructure accounts for multiple levels of failover," said Parker Cains, referring to a method of backing up computer systems to prevent failure. "For them to lose that much information alludes to something that could be....gross negligence to how its configured."

Cains, a former candidate for city council, has a decade of IT security consulting experience and has worked previously with airports, he said. 

According to Cains, the meltdown raises troubling questions about what fail-safe American Airlines' regional carrier PSA had in place when a computer glitch a week ago, affecting the system matching flight crews to aircraft, forced the cancelation of nearly 3000 flights,

"The flight scheduling is going to be their crown jewels," said Cains. "So for an organization to lose their crown jewels....sounds to me like something obviously major happened." 

He wants to know if something as fragile as their flight management system had built in redundancy and backups in place. And, if so, why they didn't work. 

"In order for that to happen that would mean the backup had to be both corrupted or unavailable as well as the data that they had at a recovery site," said Cains. 

American Airlines did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

At Charlotte Douglas International Airport there were 119 delays and five cancelations Thursday afternoon, according to flight-tracking website Flight Aware

"Do you think they had a backup in place or any sort of fail-safe?," asked FOX 46 investigative reporter Matt Grant. 

"It doesn't appear as such," said Cains. "To have such a lengthy delay and from the experiences I've seen of people being rescheduled it seems like they don't have access to the data at all." said Cains.

"Data is data. It doesn't go anywhere," he added. "So unless it was deleted or somebody accidentally turned off a server, something like that, you would think it would come back up pretty quickly rather than take days to get it back up and running."

Now, he wants to know how this could happen and what is being to prevent it from happening again.

"They should be more transparent," said Cains. "To give people an understanding of exactly why it happened."

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