Volume 92, Issue 73

Friday, February 5, 1999


New ministry based on old idea

Zoo's future the focus of forum

Candidates given poor rating so far

Control will soon be in the box

Y2K test flies by successfully

Zolis looks beyond buzz words


Caught on campus

Y2K test flies by successfully

By Lindsay Isaac
Gazette Staff

Airlines around the world were relieved yesterday when computer reservation systems were able to successfully book flights dated Jan. 1, 2000.

The year 2000 problem, better known as Y2K, refers to some computers programmed to only record the year as two digits. This has potential to cause computer problems at the start of next year.

Yesterday was the telltale date for the world travel industry to discover whether or not the computer reservation systems on which it relies would be able to process information for the year 2000.

Chuck Birnhart, vice-president of application development at Galileo International Inc., one of the world's few CRS companies, explained the reservation systems are the mechanisms travel agencies use to book flights, cruises, hotels and cars.

Since Galileo's flight-booking systems are able to work 330 days in advance, Birnhart explained yesterday was the first day to purchase flights for Jan. 1, 2000.

Galileo started working on the problem in 1995 and Birnhart said yesterday's test went off without a hitch.

"We had a good day as we did not encounter any problems and we are extremely happy right now," Birnhart said.

Many computers may have problems processing dates in the year 2000, said Bill Genn, assistant director of information technology services at Western.

According to Genn, the Y2K problem stems from computer programs designed to conserve space. "These systems were not expected to last until the next century. A lot of systems have not yet been modernized, but there is a lot of effort and investment being put forth to bring things up to date."

The London airport did not encounter any problems and said their reservation systems are all intact. "Airlines such as Delta and American airlines have all been taking reservations for Jan. 1, 2000 today," said Deb Williams, manager of corporation and marketing communications at Air Ontario.

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999