01/08/2011

Breakdown of flights information for Geneva airport

How a desire to find out an easyJet flight status showed up a complete lack of information from the airport. Will we get an explanation?


Yesterday, Friday 7 January, I got an email from someone who had noticed that during this winter, easyJet will be operating services between Leeds/Bradford and Geneva, and who had booked a Friday evening flight from there (EZY7345) in a few weeks time. So, when I returned from an evening theatre performance I turned on the TV to check with teletext if it had been on-time. For the relevant page (467) I found an unusual sight!

teletext_20011108.jpgEn raison de problèmes techniques, les données de l'aéroport de Genève ne peuvent momentanément pas être actualisées.

Since the same message is appearing now, Saturday afternoon, I have to revise my understanding of what momentanément means! I also have to wonder if someone at the airport committed the cardinal sin (for informaticians) of introducing changes on a Friday, and if they are being paid overtime this weekend to fix them!

So, instead, I fire up my computer to look on the general enquiry of flightstats.com (much faster and more flexible than the airport web site gva.ch!) I ask for arrivals of easyJet between 6pm and midnight, and am immediately told that this Friday evening flight was cancelled. There must be a jinx on me, as it seems as if I only have to take an interest in an easyJet flight and it has problems! Maybe I should have said that Flybe are also operating between Leeds and Geneva!

flightstats_easyJet.jpgI also notice another peculiarity: there is never any information on any of the flights operated by easyJet Switzerland. In fact, after doing a few more checks, I find that this has been the case for a few days.

Just as a check, I tried the airport web site. After rather more waiting, I got confirmation that this flight from Leeds was cancelled. I also found out that easyJet Switzerland had also cancelled the evening service to Nice and had to ask for help from easyJet aircraft based in England (with all the associated delays). It looks as if their problems started when one of their aircraft (HB-JZI, who will no doubt soon explain everything in another episode of his Secret Diary) was delayed for 3 hours in Geneva before leaving for Barcelona.

Just to end the story, there seem to be another couple of easyJet flights cancelled today (Belfast and Edinburgh, meaning that Scotland and Ireland are suffering like England!).

However, knowing how prompt the Geneva airport management and easyJet are in publicly explaining their problems, we will surely soon learn exactly what has been happening.

Won't we?

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