Posted on 10/15/2015

There was chaos at large airports across the US last night after a terror watch list computer system that screens passengers to ensure they are not banned from flying crashed. There were long queues of angry travellers unable to check in using the computers, numerous delays to flights and thousands of furious passengers stuck at customs for hours.
Long queues were reported at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, Dallas Fort-Worth, Boston, Baltimore, Miami, Charlotte and Los Angeles as airports struggled to cope. The glitch appeared to first cause problems on the east coast at around 7pm, when passengers reported delays checking in at JFK. The problem then spread across the country, with several major airports and thousands of passengers affected. International passengers were unable to be checked in and out because of the issue, the New York Daily News reported.

Dr Louis Maharam was stuck in Miami, where he was waiting for a connecting flight to New York. He told the media, “For an hour and a half, all the computers went down. It was all backed up. No one could come into the country. “The people working said it's never happened before and no one can understand it. Everyone was held up on the lines. They wouldn't let you go up to the immigration agent. Can you imagine the panic? Everybody missing flights.” The issue seemed to have been fixed by 9pm, with officials saying the computer system was down between 8.22pm and 9.06pm.

US Customs and Border Protection said airports processed international travellers using “alternative procedures” until the systems were back online. Customs said, “there is no indication the service disruption was malicious in nature”.