Flights delayed over faulty Internet at Ft. Lauderdale airport - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Flights delayed over faulty Internet at Ft. Lauderdale airport

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FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Fla. (WSVN) -- Flights at one South Florida airport were delayed on Wednesday after the airports Internet and telephone systems went off-line. The delays led to long lines and frustrated passengers.

Just before 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, prime rush hour at airports, all of the self print machines that allow passengers to move through lines faster went off-line and stopped working. The terminals were backed up with thousands of passengers who were waiting to check in.

Airport security deputies and airline employees moved into crowed control mode. "They didn't look like they were very prepared," said passenger James Morris who was at the airport during the fiasco.

"They said the computers are down here, and there is no way of check our luggage here," said another passenger David Sutton.

Without any warning, the Internet connection ceased inside the airport from a single clip from far outside the check-in area.

"The data line was cut by a contractor who was doing construction out by what we call the Apron by terminal four," said FLL spokesperson Gregory Meyer

With no access to Internet from anywhere in the airport there were massive delays.

"They're having delays. They can't book anything. The people who were trying to book after they already got here who usually do it through the kiosk were unable to do so," said one passenger.

"I just got here an hour before my flight, and it's chaos here in the airport. Absolute chaos," said another angry passenger.

Airport employees were forced into what felt like the stone age of air travel, manual check-in.

"I'm really not sure how something like this could exist now, without some type of backup," said a passenger.

Construction workers were racing to reconnect the broken communication line. Lines were so long they extended out on to the sidewalks outside the terminals. Airport employees were writing hand written boarding passes.

After a few hours, check-in kiosks started to function again and boarding passes were being printed with computers.

All of the Internet and phone lines were restored by 9 Wednesday night inside of the airport. The system remained off-line for nearly five hours.


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