IT Issues Force London Gatwick Staff to Write Flight Details on Whiteboards

Aug 20, 2018

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When IT problems struck London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) on Monday, airport officials rigged up an old school solution. So much so that travelers could have mistaken the North and South terminals for an elementary school classroom.

After a technical issue caused departure screens to fail, LGW staffers took out whiteboards to jot down flight information for passengers. Photos posted on social media show travelers crowded around whiteboards in the terminals, watching as staff could be seen manually changing departure information with black, green and red markers.

As of around 4:30am ET on Monday, LGW tweeted: “We are sorry, but due to an IT issue our flight information is not displaying correctly. Please use the temporary flight boards in the departure lounges or listen for airline flight announcements. We are expecting to resolve the issue soon and apologise for the inconvenience.”

Almost two hours later, the airport tweeted again to relay information that the problem was still ongoing. “Due to an ongoing issue with Vodafone — an IT provider for the airport — our flight information screens are not displaying correctly,” the tweet read. “Please use the temporary flight boards in the departure lounges or listen for airline flight announcements. We expect Vodafone to resolve the issue soon and would like to apologise to passengers for any inconvenience.”

At around 8:00am ET, the issue was still ongoing for LGW. In another tweet, the airport relayed more information, clarifying what was going on.

A Gatwick spokesperson said that as a result of the IT failure, a “handful of people had missed their flights.”

“We have identified a damaged fibre cable which is used by Gatwick Airport to display flight information,” a Vodafone spokesperson told The Telegraph. “Our engineers are working hard to fix the cable as quickly as possible. This is a top priority for us and we are very sorry for any problems caused by this issue. We are keeping Gatwick Airport constantly informed of progress.”

Gatwick is the United Kingdom’s second-largest airport, behind Heathrow (LHR). In 2017, it transported 45.6 million passengers.

Featured photo by Edmund von der Burg via Twitter.

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