PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–A system outage created massive backups for passengers flying American Airlines out of the Philadelphia International Airport Wednesday morning.
“It’s a big mess,” said Rosa Florimon. “I’ve been traveling American a long time and I think this is my last one. This is very ridiculous.”
A huge line snaked through Terminal C as hundreds of American Airlines passengers waited to check into their early-morning flights. An airline spokesperson said the issue stemmed from a scheduled overnight internet shutdown that did not come back on at 4 a.m. as planned.
With systems down, many passengers were left waiting in line for hours, as agents manually checked people in and planes remained grounded.
“It’s very frustrating, our friend has diabetes and he’s worried about his medication, standing in line for two or three hours is kind of scary with him,” said Ann Handlon, who waited nearly three hours in line to check in.
Passengers had to come to the aid of an elderly man who fell ill while standing in line.
“The gentleman said he was standing too long, and he got lightheaded, so we called for assistance for him,” said Deborah Rogers, who helped the man. “I don’t know where he’s going but I’m going to check on him before we leave to make sure he gets to where he’s going.”
The computer issue was resolved by around 7:45 a.m., but still left passengers wondering about the vulnerability of the online system.
“It’s scary. We have to depend on technology, it’s a great thing but when it goes down we’re in trouble,” said Philippe Benhaim, who was traveling to Boston. “The more we rely on it the worse it’s going to get. It’s something to think about int he future.”
Shortly after the systems came back online, the FAA lifted the ground stop it put in place for American Airlines flights to Philadelphia.