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December 13, 2007

What's Flex Camp Have To Do With An Airline Application?

Last week's Flex Camp was a huge success in Toronto - over 175 talented developers came to learn about Flex in person, get copies of cool Flex swag (copies of O'Reilly's Flex book), t-shirts and more. Perhaps the only problem with the whole event was the $399 that the Metro Toronto Convention Center was charging for wireless internet access, per person per day. (Yes, three hundred and ninety nine dollars per person.) If you're interested in the event, I've posted the slides for my keynote presentation online on the Flex Camp page.

So, what's this have to do with an RIA for airlines you ask? Well, I left the hotel and took off for Pearson Airport (Canada's busiest airport) early the next morning for my flight back to Ottawa, and noticed a lot of people waiting to check in. A lot of people. Probably everyone who had arrived at the airport that morning actually. Air Canada had a major system failure on Friday that forced the cancellation of many flights to and from Toronto. OK, great, when are you getting to the RIA I hear you asking.

While at the airport and waiting, I was able to connect online and read some email and RSS feeds. I noticed on article at the New York Times titled "Airlines Work on Systems to Reduce Delays". So, I clicked on the article and started reading. About 1/2 way down the page I noticed this image - clearly a Flex application built by American Airlines (check out the drop down boxes). The application helps track flights after they've been diverted to other airports.

It was a little late for Air Canada, but hopefully someday that Flex application will help reduce the wait time that someone has in an airport. For me, I ended up driving back to Ottawa instead, while Air Canada resolved their computer problems.

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