US Airline Computer Glitches at Christmas? London's Bookies Say, "We won't take the bet"

NEW YORK and LONDON – December 2, 2015 – London's world-renowned bookies will take bets on virtually anything, from whether there’ll be a white Christmas to who will win the 2016 US presidential race. But they know a sure thing when they see it, and won’t accept a wager on whether air travellers will be stranded this holiday season because of glitches at four of America’s largest airline computer systems.

Five licensed betting firms in London, England, home of the £3bn gambling industry, turned “thumbs down” on a bet as to whether Delta, American, Southwest or United Airlines will be able to keep their IT systems up and running during the holiday season. Specifically, none were willing to provide odds on whether the airlines would be able to keep their IT systems up and running consistently during November and December 2015.

Their reluctance to accept the wager illustrates their lack of confidence in the airlines’ computer systems, as well as other organisations whose continuing commercial viability is dependent on aging IT systems.

CAST (, the risk experts, explored the possibility of a bet, as the closest publically available proxy to an insurance actuarial table. The reluctance of betting firms to place odds illustrates the way IT systems present real risk to many large organisations who are reliant on IT today. CAST's experience with the airline industry in particular has illustrated that the sector faces a “perfect storm” of IT complexity: post-merger integration, unsuccessful systems upgrades of ageing IT infrastructure, combined with widespread IT outsourcing, both domestically and overseas.

“Few things in life may be harder to predict than IT outages, but the bookies’ failure to accept our wager amounts to a vote of ‘no confidence’ in America’s airlines and their computers’ ability to operate at crunch time,” said Lev Lesokhin, CAST’s executive vice president of strategy. “While we have no inside information whatsoever on the IT operations of the airlines, we do know that software quality is a consistent cause for concern, especially in industries where their existing systems may be patch worked and figuratively held together by cyber duct tape.”

Lesokhin noted that as the insurance industry gears up to cover cyber resilience risk, estimated to be worth $20 billion over the next five years, risk assessments about IT uptime are being made daily. “For travellers, the bookies’ failure to accept our wager means they, too, believe there will be a significant system failure between now and the end of the year… one that may easily affect thousands of holiday travellers," he added.

About CAST

CAST (Euronext: CAS) is the world leader in software analysis and measurement, with unique technology that introduces fact-based transparency into application development and sourcing, transforming it into a management discipline. More than 250 companies across all industry sectors globally, one-third of them listed on the Global 2000, rely on CAST to prevent business disruption while reducing their hard IT costs and software risk. CAST is an integral part of software delivery and maintenance at the world's leading IT service providers. Founded in 1990, CAST serves IT-intensive enterprises worldwide with offices in North America, Europe and India.

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