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Hong Kong aviation

Airlines worldwide experience disruption after check-in system glitch

Services in Hong Kong do not seem to have been badly affected

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 September, 2017, 12:07am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 September, 2017, 12:40am

Major airlines worldwide, including those in Hong Kong, were hit by technical issues on Thursday evening relating to a computer check-in system.

Problems were reported at airports including London’s Heathrow and Gatwick, Charles de Gaulle in Paris, Zurich, Melbourne, Johannesburg, Changi in Singapore and Reagan Airport Washington DC, according to The Telegraph.

British Airways, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Qantas Airways were among those affected, with Dutch operator KLM delaying at least 24 departures, Bloomberg reported.

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Singapore’s Changi airport said via Twitter that a technical problem affecting some operators was holding up the check-in process, with boarding passes having to be issued manually, Bloomberg said.

In pictures posted online, travellers were seen stuck in long queues at check-in desks at London’s Gatwick Airport, Melbourne Airport and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport near Washington DC after the outage on Thursday evening.

Madrid-based company Amadeus, which makes the computer check-in system Altéa, said in a statement to The Telegraph they had experienced a network issue that caused disruption to some of their systems.

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In Hong Kong, the Airport Authority told the Post it had received reports from several airlines about the problems in their check in systems. There was no significant impact on airport operations.

The city flagship carriers Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, which also use Altéa, said they had experienced “intermittent instability” with the online reservation and booking system on Thursday evening for a short period of time due to a glitch with the system.

The system later resumed, a spokeswoman said.

More than 130 airlines worldwide use Amadeus’s Altéa passenger-service system, which helps manage flight reservations, inventory and departure-control capabilities, according to its website.

The glitch appeared to have had less of an impact in the North America.

Southwest Airlines told The Telegraph there had been widespread intermittent issues concerning its flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, but no major disruption.

The technology company declined to comment on the extent of the disruption.

Dublin airport said to the newspaper its systems were down for 12 minutes, while Manchester in northern England reported a 15-minute failure. The knock-on effect on flights would have lasted considerably longer, based on previous outages.

In a statement to The Telegraph shortly before 2.30pm (London time), Amadeus said: “Amadeus can confirm that our systems are recovered and are now functioning normally.

Germany’s Lufthansa and its partner airlines said to media it had been hit for about 30 minutes, and that prevented bags being checked in, while airlines including Air France using the system at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris were affected for a few minutes.

In Washington, Southwest Airlines reported a few minor delays at Reagan National Airport of up to 16 minutes.