Summer Trips Cause Travel Site Downtime Problems

 
 
By Evan Schuman  |  Posted 2007-06-22
 
 
 
Summer is so strenuous on travel Web sites this year that at least one major site had 2-and-a-half hours of downtime, according to an uptime monitoring service.

The report, issued by Pingdom, looked at 16 major travel sites—including Orbitz, Travelocity, Yahoo and Priceline. The worst performer: OneTravel, which was down for 150 minutes. Popular site Expedia was not surveyed because Expedias system didnt take kindly to being watched and blocked the nosey system inquiries.

"Expedia.com was originally part of the survey, but the results have been omitted because the service blocked monitoring during part of the test and the results would therefore not be fair," Pingdom said in a statement.

As for the sites that were tracked, Pingdom considered a site "down" when it either replied with an error or didnt reply at all within 30 seconds. OneTravel achieved that for 150 minutes and fared the worst. Others included: Kayak.com (94 minutes); Hotwire (85 minutes); StaTravel (66 minutes); Quikbook (34 minutes); Travel.Yahoo.com (11 minutes); CheapTickets (6 minutes); Travelocity (5 minutes.); Orbitz (5 minutes); TravelZoo (5 minutes); Hotels (5 minutes); and SideStep (5 minutes). The site also tracked Travel, Priceline, Site59 and LastMinuteTravel, all of which were found to have no downtime during the four-week-long test period from May 22 to June 19.

Pingdom analyst Peter Alguacil said Expedias blocking could have been accomplished in a number of ways. "It could have been an automated security feature that was activated after a certain amount of time by too many accumulated visits from our servers," Alguacil said, "or they could possibly have done it manually—by configuring firewalls, for example. Monitoring is performed from a number of servers, so all they have to do is block those specific servers from accessing their Web site."

Retail Center Editor Evan Schuman can be reached at Evan_Schuman@ziffdavis.com.

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