CHICAGO (CBS) — A nationwide computer outage crippled customs processing at airports around the country Friday afternoon, including O’Hare and Midway international airports.
As CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reported, it is not unusual for families to be seen waiting for loved ones in the international arrival area at O’Hare, but they had to wait much longer Friday due to the issue.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection tweeted that a temporary outage affected processing systems at various points of entry, including O’Hare.
O’Hare and Midway both tweeted that alternative procedures were in place until systems were back up.
The alternative processing methods involved a manual, time-intensive process that resulted in long delays at O’Hare and around the country.
Both airports said aviation security officers and customer representatives were sent to their international terminals to deal with crowds.
Some travelers issued tweets showing O’Hare inundated with huge crowds.
— B Brubaker (@bbrubaker20) August 16, 2019
International terminals at other airports around the country were also affected. CBS New York reported the breakdown caused massive crowds and endless lines at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and left arriving passengers stuck at the terminal.
Sources told CBS 2 there did not appear to be anything sinister or nefarious about the outage.
The affected systems were coming back online by 6 p.m.