Published: Tue, August 21, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Airport Forced to Use Whiteboard to Prevent Total Travel Mayhem

Airport Forced to Use Whiteboard to Prevent Total Travel Mayhem

Staff resorted to writing out crucial information about gate numbers, flights times and delays by hand after an IT failure knocked out digital departure screens.

"We have identified a damaged fibre cable which is used by Gatwick Airport to display flight information".

Ayla Herbert, 26, from Penryn, Cornwall, was at the airport for a Flybe flight to Newquay when she encountered a crowd gathered around two whiteboards after passing through security.

Photos posted on social media showed people crowding around the boards to find out the latest on their flights.

Helen Walsh tweeted that the situation was "absolute carnage", while CheerfulChappy said Gatwick Airport was "an embarrassment to the United Kingdom, letting a simple IT problem knock out all of the departure info screens". However, he added that "tens of thousands" of passengers managed to catch their flights and depart on time.

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The airport set up whiteboards to direct passengers to their gates because sometimes low tech is the best solution to high-tech problems. Our engineers are working hard to fix the cable as quickly as possible. "This is a top priority for us", it said.

Some 45.6 million passengers travelled through Gatwick Airport a year ago, according to statistics from the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey.

'We expect Vodafone to resolve the issue soon and would like to apologise to passengers for any inconvenience'.

A Gatwick spokesman blamed an "ongoing issue" with Vodaphone, which provides IT services for the airport.

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