Officials: Customs system outage causes waits at airports

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a statement saying a processing system outage caused delays at various airports.

The statement says CBP officers continued processing international travelers using “alternative procedures” until the system came back online Monday but waits were longer than usual at some airports.

In Atlanta, CBP public affairs officer Robert Brisley says the outage at the city’s airport lasted about an hour from late afternoon into early evening. He said that officers were working to recover quickly afterward but even short outages can lead to backups at the airport, one of the world’s busiest.

He said the agency apologizes to travelers who were delayed getting into the country after long flights.

Two flights were affected out of Tampa International Airport, including British Airways and Lufthansa, and TIA confirmed to News Channel 8 that “computers were a little slow.”

The British Airways flight had a normal clearance time, but Lufthansa took twenty minutes longer than normal to clear the flight.

All computers began running normally and Customs and Border Patrol Protection were back up and running at 10:30 p.m. Monday night.

Brisley said the cause of the outage was still being evaluated.

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