Oxford defines a glitch as “a sudden, usually temporary malfunction or irregularity of equipment“. Which means that when we refer to a glitch, it points to the equipment as the problem.
It is short-lived and the system is at fault.
But systems have their limitations. Which means that when we refer to a glitch occurring, it cannot be just the equipment that’s the problem. Equipments require human intervention. To turn them on. To shut them. For maintenance. Or even to upgrade. To lay the blame on equipment failure alone is lack of accountability and responsibility by whoever is tasked to make sure that these are in tiptop shape and well maintained. It’s also why audits are important. These provide quality checks and balances in the workplace, making sure that “glitches” do not occur. Back-up systems or risk management plans are written and should be documented and followed to the letter.
What do you do when system A is down? What’s the fail safe plan or exit plan?
Even when there is a fire or an explosion, there is always an escape plan.
The recent “glitch” in the air traffic systems in the Philippines on January 01, 2023 was a nightmare to all travelers. For all the airports in the entire archipelago to shut down, there has to be a reason beyond just blaming the equipment.
While authorities attributed the air travel mayhem to equipment failure, and the call to shut down operations as a safety concern, a lot of questions need clear answers – beyond whitewashing this incident. The call to an investigation into this unfortunate inconvenience is needed. The public has the right to know why and how this happened and who is responsible for it. After all, the inconvenience did not only take away the time of passengers who had to wait for hours or even days before they could get a flight to or from the airports. The economic ramifications of this on a personal and national level is too huge to just shrug off as something that was a ‘glitch’.
This cannot happen again. It’s bad enough that the Philippines is reeling from an economic crisis due to the lockdowns at the time of Duterte. Revenge travel should not have to be this traumatic. It’s really not more fun getting caught in the worst airport in the world because of a glitch.