A problem with third-party airline industry iPad software has caused American Airlines flights to be grounded and delayed.
The firm admitted to the problem on Twitter, where many of its passengers turned to complain, explaining that a glitch with equipment necessitated the delays and that nothing could happen until it was resolved.
@bjacaruso Some flights are experiencing an issue with a software application on pilot iPads. We'll have info about your departure soon.— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) April 29, 2015
"Our pilot manuals are on these devices," the company added, highlighting its reliance on the Apple hardware.
Other messages on the American Airlines account show the company apologising to passengers for a lack of information and offering assurances that the problem is being resolved.
@kkostt We know you're frustrated and we wish we could do more from here. We'll have you on your way as quickly as possible.— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) April 29, 2015
Passengers were disgruntled, however, and repeatedly expressed their frustrations.
V3 asked American Airlines for more information, and the company admitted to the problem in a statement, attributing it to third-party software.
"We experienced technical issues with an application installed on some pilot iPads. This issue was with the third-party application, not the iPad, and caused some departure delays last night and this morning," the firm said.
"Our pilots have been able to address the issue by downloading the application again at the gate prior to take off and, as a backup, are able to rely on paper charts they can obtain at the airport. We apologise for the inconvenience to our customers."
A promotional video about the use of iPads on American Airlines flights (shown below), released in 2013, shows the extent to which the hardware is integrated. The iPad is described as being "more efficient" than paper.
Reports suggest that the software run by the airline, and most of the airline industry, is provided by a company called Jeppesen which is part of Boeing Digital Aviation. V3 has asked Jeppeson for its comments on the incident.
American Airlines is not alone in embracing Apple hardware. United Airlines has used iPads since 2011, and currently uses iPad Air 2s on its flight decks.
United signed a deal last year to provide iPhone 6 Plus phones for its 23,000 flight attendants, and welcomed the increased adoption.
"The iPhone 6 Plus will enable them to deliver an even higher level of flyer-friendly service and will offer our flight attendants simple, one-touch access to valuable work information, enabling them to better serve our customers," United said.
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