Travel firms have been advised to make sure their websites are robust and open for business 24/7 as the cold snap continues to bite in the UK and in Europe.
The warning came from travel technology specialist Zeus Technology after influential blogger Neville Hobson recorded problems he had accessing BA’s flight rebooking site as snow disrupted his service from Basel today.
In his original Tweet on @jangles Hobson said “BA flight rebooking website severely overloaded, anything gets a ‘Error We are encountering a temporary fault, please try again’ message”.
In a later message he says he got through to BA on the phone and managed to rebook his flight. BA later responded to say the weather was causing problems over Europe and to wish him a successful journey home.
Nick Bond, e-travel specialist at Zeus Technology, said: “As the cold snap continues to disrupt travel services, travel providers need to ensure that their websites are accessible at all times.
“Emergency situations mean people need to access information quickly, and they will quickly become frustrated if this is not possible.
“For travel sites in particular, a reliable website is imperative for maintaining customer loyalty and reducing churn. It tests the patience of a customer enough if a flight is delayed or cancelled.
“If they are then unable to find out further information because the website is slow or failing to load it is likely to irreparably damage the relationship between travel provider and customer.
“New media platforms such as Twitter mean that negative publicity about a brand spreads incredibly quickly and can be very difficult to control.
“This is another important reason why it is so crucial that there is open communication with IT, so that sites remain robust and reliable, even during unexpected peaks in demand.”