Customs Computer Failure Snarls Passengers at U.S. Airports – The New York Times

Ms. Behan said she saw hundreds of people waiting. When the system came back online around 2:45 p.m., people were relieved and rushed to get processed. Everyone wanted to get through before it went down again, she said.

Ninis Samuel of Chicago said in a phone interview that he had landed at Kennedy Airport at 3:45 p.m. from Copenhagen, and that he was in line for Global Entry, a program that expedites the security processing of prescreened passengers.

What ordinarily was a five-minute wait had lasted 45 minutes, he said.

“Nothing’s moving,” he said. “I’m standing here with the crew. People are massed here like cattle.”

Of the crowd, he said, “To my horizon line, you wouldn’t believe it,” adding, “I’m sure there are over 1,000 people here right now waiting in line.”

Around 5 p.m., he said he had gotten through Customs because officials were manually processing passengers and he was a participant in Global Entry.

Officers were processing passengers one at a time instead of passengers relying on self-service machines to move through customs.

Mariel Padilla contributed reporting.

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