Like French cooking, French architecture, and French surrendering, Paris Orly Airport is steeped in tradition. Case in point: the airport was shut down recently because of its quarter-of-a-century-old computers. Unlike those other elements of French life, however, this was anything but "charming" for hopeful travelers.
Last Saturday, Orly closed its runways and redirected flights to nearby Paris Charles de Gaulle and Lyon because of a breakdown in one of its computer systems called "DECOR." This system is responsible for connecting air traffic control with Meteo France, which is essential to taking off when there's mist or fog around. Funny thing about "DECOR" is, just like the decor of the Palace of Versailles, it's really outdated. As in, it's still running on Windows 3.1 -- an operating system released in 1992.
If you're unfamiliar with the Windows 3.1 operating system, here are a few things that were going down when Windows 3.1 was invented: Wayne's World movie was cracking up kids in theaters, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was on the Billboard charts, and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air was still rolling out new episodes. The '90s were great. But this is respecting history a little too much.
The major technological glitch was somewhat of a wake-up call, thankfully, and the French Ministry of Transport is planning to get things up to date. IT Pro reported that the Ministry said it would rectify the issue in 2017. At that point, perhaps they'll be able to install Windows 95, thus speeding an entire three years into the future -- ya know, right after everyone has an espresso, reads Le Monde, and sunbathes on the Seine. Then they'll probably get right on it.
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Kara King is a News Writer at Thrillist and actually loves the French. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her at @karatillie.