NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A system computer late Monday outage led to huge crowds at U.S. Customs and Border Protection lines all over the country.
As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, the Department of Homeland Security said passenger security was never compromised during the temporary computer outage affecting customs processing systems. But travelers’ patience was definitely tested.
“It’s like pandemonium in there,” one woman said at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The woman at and her young son stood in the customs line at JFK for two hours coming home from Paris.
“It was a nightmare. I’ve never seen it so crowded,” she said.
Customs officers used alternate procedures to process returning travelers, but passengers from around the world were still smacked with long lines and crowded chaos at the end of their holiday vacations.
The woman said no one at the airport mentioned the computer problem.
“No, and everybody’s too scared to ask anything,” the woman said.
Others likewise said they didn’t know what was happening.
“It was the largest line I’ve ever seen,” a man added.
“I don’t know about any outage — it was just really slow,” another man said.
Newark Liberty International Airport was also affected, along with international airports around the country
A US Customs and Border Protection computer outage created the mess at major airports across the country. In Miami, Jack Brewer took to Twitter to show the overwhelming lines.
The situation at JFK seemingly mild compared to Miami, but it was still an inconvenience — especially for those whose flights were already delayed in the first place.
“People are sitting on the floor or whatever,” said Isaac Mamah, who was traveling from West Africa.
And as the system slowly comes back to normal… travelers are anxious to find out what caused the massive outage in the first place.
“It kind of sounds suspicious,” said a man with Mamah. “You have to tell us why the thing is down.”
“They got to know why,” added Mamah.
By 9:20 p.m. Monday, systems were back up, CBS News reported. A senior U.S. official told CBS News the root cause had not been identified, but there was no indication that a malicious hack or act was involved.