Chaos at Melbourne Airport after an outage at immigration. Picture: Michelle Williams/Twitter
Chaos at Melbourne Airport after an outage at immigration. Picture: Michelle Williams/Twitter

Massive passenger delays in national airport outage

Huge delays have taken hold at airports nationally, with passengers facing long waits as passports are processed manually.

It is understood the ePassport outage is nationwide, with the Australian Border Force looking into the issue and working to resolve it.

Melbourne passenger Elena told 3AW it took her more than an hour to clear customs as lines were backed up while ABF staff process each passport manually.

 

Massive queues at Sydney Airport due to this morning's outage. Picture: Twitter/@davebergie
Massive queues at Sydney Airport due to this morning's outage. Picture: Twitter/@davebergie

"I've been in immigration at Tullamarine for about half an hour and I have only moved about 2m," she said.

"It seems as if all the e-machines have gone down, so they have to manually process everyone.

"About four planes have landed, I reckon there's 500 to 600 people here. It's just ridiculous."

Michelle Williams wrote on Twitter that hundreds are trying to get through immigration at Melbourne as all machines are down.

In Sydney, celebrity chef Adam Liaw feared the delays at the international terminal were going "to take hours".

But he later tweeted: "It was actually pretty quick considering. Airport staff doing a great job (despite a lot of tired and grumpy passengers). Estimated 1-2 hours but actually more like 40 minutes."

Airport workers at the Harbour City are handing out bottles of water to frustrated passengers, signalling a long wait could be in store.

And officials at Brisbane Airport say the delays are mostly affecting inbound travellers, warning passengers they may miss connecting flights.

The ABF said additional staff have been deployed to help passengers and minimise delays.

"The Australian Border Force is working with the Department of Home Affairs to resolve an IT systems outage impacting inbound and outbound passenger processing at international airports," an ABF spokesperson said.

"Passengers are encouraged to arrive at airports early to allow additional time for processing."

oliver.caffrey@news.com.au


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