United Airlines software glitch strands travelers again

For the third time this year, a computer glitch wreaked havoc on United Airliness flights, delaying thousands of travelers for hours.

That's bad news for the beleaguered airline, which faced a similar issue as recently as August, but even worse for road warriors racing to important meetings, conferences, and the like.

Of course, anyone who flies regularly is no stranger to delays. Although software glitches are an unusual culprit (except at United, ahem), weather, mechanical problems, airport congestion, and other issues can strike at any time.

That's why smart business travelers increasingly rely on smart tools to help them cope with unexpected disruptions. Perhaps the best example: remote-access software, which lets you connect to your office PC when you're stuck in an airport terminal, hotel lounge, or even the backseat of a taxi.

One such remote-access option is LogMeIn Free, which you install on your office PC before heading out on the road. You can leave that PC running or even let it power down to sleep mode; the software supports wake-on-LAN, meaning you can wake it up from afar.

Then, whenever you need access, just login to your LogMeIn account via your laptop Web browser, or run one of the LogMeIn apps on your smartphone or tablet. Once you're connected, you'll have full control over that office PC, same as if you were sitting in front of it.

Now you can run a program, access a document, retrieve an old email, copy and paste between PCs, or even reboot/shut down the remote machine.

Needless to say, for any stranded traveler, that kind of functionality can really save the day. In other words, even when software is to blame for disrupting your travels, it can also come to the rescue.

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