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A major check-in systems crash is disrupting airports worldwide

A man waits with his luggage at Gatwick Airport in southern England
Reuters/Hannah McKay
A man waits with his luggage at Gatwick Airport in southern England, Britain, May 27, 2017.
By Joon Ian Wong
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Update (5:32pm BST): Altea says the issue is now resolved.

Travelers were left waiting in airports from Singapore to Baltimore today because of a technical problem with an airline check-in system. Some airports have reported that the issue has been resolved. Some travelers reported waits of nearly two hours, while some outages lasted for just a minute or two.

The Altea system is made by the Spanish travel services software giant Amadeus. It’s sold to airlines to allow passengers to check themselves onto their flights, drop off luggage, and for airlines to communicate flight changes to customers. Amadeus confirmed that a disruption occurred today and that it’s continuing to restore services. “During the morning, we experienced a network issue that caused disruption to some of our systems … the action is ongoing with services gradually being restored,” Amadeus said in a statement to Quartz. It said the issue was completely resolved about five hours later.

A press officer at Gatwick told Quartz the problem affected the Altea system used for people to check themselves into their flights. The officer said the outage lasted for a matter of minutes, and is now back online.

Check-in systems at London’s Heathrow airport were also affected “intermittently,” an airport spokesperson said. It said it is working with airlines to get the systems back to normal. A spokesperson at Frankfurt airport said there appeared to be a “computer failure or hiccup” although its systems showed things were operating as normal. Service has resumed at Changi airport in Singapore after an outage affecting Singapore Airlines, Qantas, and Lufthansa there, an airport spokesperson told the Today newspaper. The airport is however still advising travelers that checking in may take longer than usual.

Based on reports from travelers on Twitter and press reports, the affected airports and airlines appear to include:

  • British Airways at Heathrow and Gatwick airports in London
  • Singapore Airines, Qantas, and Lufthansa at Changi Airport in Singapore

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