UK airport websites struggle under increased demand

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Today’s UK heightened security  and associated disruption has taken its toll online as well as at the airports themselves. Websites for major UK airports including Heathrow and Gatwick have struggled under the wave of extra requests for online information. They’ve switched to low-bandwidth, text versions of their sites, or redirected to the BAA website, and provided just the essential information.

It’s another reminder of the reliance we place on new technology to get to information. Of course the TV and radio will push ouit 24 hour information at such times, but people now turn to the Net for the specific information they need.

When it works well, it can ease resources, publishing information that’s accessible from anywhere and taking significant pressure off telephone information lines. However, it puts tremendous pressure on servers and infrastructure running the websites, causing even larger sites to suffer outages due to high demand.

Situations like this provide a reality check on our reliance on modern technology and methods of communication; with mobile phones suddenly disallowed, getting in touch with relatives and colleagues becomes extremely difficult.

And no tech on flights at the moment either: laptops, iPods, cameras – all out.

Andy Merrett