US Airports Experience Immigration Delay as Computers Crash

On Monday evening, a fault with computers at the immigration desks of many major airports in the US resulted in hundreds of travelers having to queue for almost two hours to get into the country. Atlanta International Airport and John F Kennedy International Airport in New York were among those affected, according to Reuters.

It is not yet known what sparked the computer outage, although a Twitter post from Customs and Border Protection indicated that it is not believed deliberate malice was responsible for the situation. Travelers were still screened with the use of databases related to national security, but holidaymakers were not impressed, and there were many complaints about the major delays.

One Twitter user posted an image of hundreds of people waiting in queues at JFK Airport and complained at having to wait for almost an hour to clear customs and immigration, suggesting that the waiting time for others was even longer. Another social media user, Microsoft program manager, Jessica Yang, suggested at one point that no one had been able to get past immigration at JFK Airport for over an hour. She correctly surmised that their system was down, adding ‘Happy New Year!’

The processing system outage began at around 7:30 pm EST and was not resolved until around 9:30 pm EST, according to Customs and Border Protection. A similar problem with the computers occurred at about the same time in 2017.