A nationwide collapse of the US customs service computer system left thousands of passengers lined up at airports awaiting clearance to officially enter the country, the authorities and US media said.
“Customs and Border Protection has nationwide outage. Expect delays in passenger processing until the system is restored,” Fort Lauderdale’s airport, a major hub for the United States and Caribbean, said on Twitter.
A Customs and Border Protection department spokesman told NBC News that there had been a disruption at several airports and was “taking immediate action to address the technology disruption.”
After a few hours of trouble, the glitch was fixed.
“All airports are back on line after a temporary outage of CPB’s processing systems. No indication the disruption was malicious in nature,” Customs said on Twitter.
But that was not enough for the thousands of tired and cranky passengers who arrived at US gates but then were lined up, in travel limbo, unable to clear customs.
An official for Miami International Airport told NBC that passengers on “more than 30 international flights were affected” and one traveler told the same affiliate that two people fainted waiting in line.
“People are starting to argue and get frustrated,” Cali Rez tweeted in Miami. “Get someone down here to explain things and direct the lines ASAP.”
The affected airports are known to include Miami International, Atlanta Hartsfield, Boston Logan and Fort Lauderdale, officials said.
John Dean says Gordon Sondland just had his ‘John Dean moment’ by flipping on Trump: ‘The truth has come out’
Former White House aide John Dean on Wednesday compared his testimony against President Richard Nixon to the testimony of European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
"This has been called by some commentators a John Dean moment," CNN host Jake Tapper noted during a break in the testimony. "And there is no person I can think of who is better qualified to weigh in on that than John Dean."
"Is he the John Dean of this impeachment inquiry?" Tapper wondered.
"His statement certainly caught the Republicans off guard," Dean replied. "They didn't pick away -- just a few little picky points."
‘The worst day with the most damning evidence’: CNN’s Tapper explains how Sondland was very bad for Trump
European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony before the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry on Wednesday generated several startling revelations, including confirmation of an explicit quid-pro-quo deal involving investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.
CNN's Jake Tapper described Sondland's testimony as " a monumental and historic moment on what may turn out to be the worst day with the most damning evidence for President Trump in the impeachment inquiry."
He then laid out all the ways that Sondland has been very bad news for the president.
"Sondland directly implicated the president in directing the operation to pressure Ukraine," Tapper explained. "Sondland is testifying that there very clearly was a quid pro quo -- this was for a White House visit for the Ukrainians in exchange for an announcement about an investigation into the company Burisma and the Bidens. Now, Sondland later said it became clear to him that the quid pro quo also, he presumed, was tied to the holdup of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that Ukraine desperately needed."
Here are the most important moments from Gordon Sondland’s bomshell impeachment inquiry testimony
EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, a key actor in President Donald Trump's effort to pressure Ukraine for dirt on his political rivals, was in the hot seat Wednesday as Democrats built their case for impeaching the US leader.
Here are some of the key quotes from his opening statement.
- Following Trump's orders -
- "As a presidential appointee, I followed the directions of the president. We worked with (Trump's personal lawyer Rudy) Giuliani because the president directed us to do so.
"We had no desire to set any conditions on the Ukranians. Indeed, my own personal view -- which I shared repeatedly with others -- was that the White House meeting and security assistance should have proceeded without pre-conditions of any kind."