NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A nationwide computer problem has been repaired, hours after effectively crippling customs processing at airports around the country.

The outage quickly brought things to a standstill for airline passengers arriving at New York’s JFK Airport Friday afternoon, where corridors were jam packed with frustrated people waiting for Customs and Border Protection agents.

According to airport officials, the downed computer system forced customs agents to process arriving fliers by hand.

The scene was reportedly the same at airports across the United States, including at busy travel hubs like Houston, Chicago, and Washington.

The breakdown caused massive crowds and endless lines or arriving passengers unable to leave JFK.

Videos and images posted to social media showed the depth of the backup in New York, which began to be reported around 4 p.m.

Authorities did not have their systems back up and running until around 7 p.m. and by that point the damage was done.

Some passengers arriving in the U.S. at JFK took the airport to task over the lack of bathroom and seating while countless fliers stood waiting for customs officials to process everyone.

There is no word on what caused the massive technical failure.


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