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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s a rough night for international travelers at Miami International Airport.
Approximately 2,000 passengers are in line at customs at MIA due to an apparent computer outage impacting systems used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at passport control.
The outage is affecting other airports across the county, according to an official familiar with the situation.
Travelers in Miami say it was a mass of people and a mess.
Jennifer Martin stood in line for hours. She was frustrated.
“The kiosk machines shut down,” Martin said. “So we couldn’t get our passport pictures down, so they cattled us to this line, then they opened up the line after we been standing in it for an hour and let the people who just got off a flight in front of us in customs.”
Other passengers experienced similar problems.
“The machines for customs and border patrol aren’t working, so all the things are printing out with X’s on them and everyone’s freaking out, so the lines about an hour to get thru,” said Brittany Jason.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement saying, in part, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection experienced a temporary outage with its processing systems at various airports today beginning at 7:30 pm and ending approximately 9:30 pm. All airports are currently back on line.”
Customs says that passengers continued to be processed during the outage, “using alternative procedures at affected airports. Travelers at some ports of entry experienced longer than usual wait times as CBP officers processed travelers as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest levels of security.”
Making the situation worse is that Monday was a busy day, with a lot of people returning home from the holiday.
“Everyone’s running, they’re flustered,” Jason said. “Seems like there’s some crazy, end of the world thing going on. It’s all over the place.”
Security remained the priority during the outage.
“During the technology disruption, CBP had access to national security-related databases and all travelers were screened according to security standards. At this time, there is no indication the service disruption was malicious in nature.”