what the glitch?!

who hasn’t been afraid of spending a day, or more, at the airport waiting for take off, but your flight keeps getting delayed? in addition, customer service goes deaf and mute. long hours, waiting while you are being told: “we will give you information as soon as possible. we apologize for the inconvenience.” agghhhh!! fuming with mounting frustration, anger, desperation, and anxiety, you start to breathe.  in, out, in, out. slowly breathe in, all the way to your toes. slowly breathe out, all the way from your toes. 

on January 12th, 2023, a technical glitch led to major disruptions in the US aviation industry. the problem affected multiple airlines and caused hundreds of flights to be delayed or canceled. the issue was caused by a failure in the computer systems that handle flight plans and other critical information for air traffic control.

airlines were forced to ground planes and reroute flights, causing delays for passengers. some flights were diverted to other airports, while others were delayed for several hours. the disruptions affected flights across the country, with the largest impacts felt at major airports such as JFK, LAX, and O’Hare.

the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a statement saying that they were working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and investigating the cause of the malfunction. the FAA also urged passengers to check with their airlines for updates on their flights.

the technical glitch was resolved by the end of the day but passengers suffered inconvenience, and airlines were working to get back to their normal schedule. many passengers took to social media to express their frustration with the delays, and some criticized the airlines and the FAA for their handling of the situation.

this event caused inconvenience to many passengers and airlines and prompted an investigation by the FAA to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

vocab: you can click here and see the vocab using Google Translator. 

grammar tips – passive voice

the passive voice (underlined) is when the subject of the sentence receives the action.  


  • active voice: Robert painted the house.
  • passive voice: the house was painted.

we use it to give importance to the action.  we are less interested, or not interested in who or what did the action, but what happened.  

so, in this story, we know that the computer failure caused a lot of situations.  We are interested in the situations caused.  I.e. the flights were delayed. 

discussion questions / exercises

talk/write about a time you suffered travel delays or disruptions.  use the passive voice and some of the vocabulary.

  1. what caused the technical glitch in the aviation system in the United States on January 12th, 2023?
  2. how did the technical glitch affect multiple airlines and their flights?
  3. what actions did the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) take in response to the technical glitch?
  4. how did the technical glitch impact passengers and their flights?
  5. what was the outcome of the technical glitch and when was it resolved?
  6. where were the major airports affected by the glitch?
  7. what statement did the FAA issue in response to the glitch?
  8. what measures did the FAA take to investigate the cause of the malfunction?
  9. how did passengers express their frustration about the delays and cancellations caused by the glitch?
  10. how did the technical glitch impact the daily operations of the airlines?

that’s it for today 

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