Thousands of travelers in airports across the United States were forced to wait in lines for hours Monday night, due to an unexplained shutdown of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s computer systems.
On one of the busiest travel days of the year, major airports in New York, Houston, Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, and Miami were affected by the resultant delays.
— Darrellkc (@hamptonsunset) January 2, 2017
In a statement released late Monday night, the Customs agency said the outage lasted four hours before systems were restored and running again.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection experienced a temporary outage with its processing systems at various airports today beginning at 5 p.m. EST and ending at approximately 9 p.m. EST. All airports are currently back on line.” the agency said. “CBP took immediate action to address the issue and CBP officers continued to process international travelers using alternative procedures at airports experiencing the disruption. Travelers at some ports of entry experienced longer than usual wait times as CBP officers processed travelers as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest levels of security.
Due to the outage, CBP officers were forced to process international travelers through “alternative procedures” until the system came back online.
“During the technology disruption, CBP had access to national security-related databases and all travelers were screened according to security standards. At this time, there is no indication the service disruption was malicious in nature,” the agency said.
The outage created mayhem at airports. Heat from standing in crowded lines caused one traveler to vomit, while others expressed their frustrations over social media.
— Peter Gartrell (@runptg11) January 3, 2017
— Cali Réz (@CherezR) January 3, 2017
— Michelle S. (@michelle63126) January 3, 2017
— Carlos Rico (@carlosrico011) January 3, 2017
— Justin Tinkle™ (@JTinkleComedy) January 3, 2017
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