U.S. Customs system back online after shutdown causes major delays

There's "no indication the disruption was malicious in nature at this time," the agency said.

August 17, 2019 10:59
2 minute read.
U.S. Customs system back online after shutdown causes major delays

Social media video grab of passengers queuing at the immigration counter at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. (photo credit: LUKE MONTGOMERY/COURTESY/SOCIAL MEDIA/VIA REUTERS)

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) processing system is back online after a nationwide computer shutdown caused major delays for international travelers Friday.

"The affected systems are coming back online and travelers are being processed," the agency tweeted Friday evening, nearly two hours after sharing news of the outage.

CBP didn't mention a cause of the technology shutdown, but did say there's "no indication the disruption was malicious in nature at this time."
Earlier Friday, CBP alerted travelers that they were experiencing a "temporary outage with its processing systems at various air ports of entry," including New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Virginia's Dulles International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.

JFK confirmed on its official Twitter account that agents were processing travelers manually during the outage.

Dulles International Airport also experienced delays, Micah Lillard, a spokesperson from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, confirmed to USA TODAY.

"We learned at about 3:30 p.m. EDT that Customs and Border Protection was experiencing a nationwide computer issue affecting their ability to process arriving international passengers," Lillard said in a statement.

Los Angeles International Airport shared a similar advisory to passengers: "@CBP systems are experiencing an issue which appears to be impacting multiple airports including LAX. Officers are processing passengers manually so please check with your airline for the latest status of any flight impacts. More details as they become available."

As a result, LAX deployed a team to "help direct guests and provide other assistance" in the customs area.

CBP did not immediately respond to USA TODAY's request for comment.

Frustrated passengers took to social media to share footage of massive crowds stalled in the customs lines.

"Landed at JFK and machines are down at customs checkpoint…I’m in the global entry line and the regular line has several hundred if not thousands in it," @Baird_S said.

User @BradPierce7 added, "JFK Airport Customs. Great work."

User @PatriotAndiH said she's been waiting at Dulles for "two hours and counting!"

"Stuck at Dulles customs system down," she added. "All US passport holders just waiting.... What happened to the old fashioned stamp?"


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