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People Are Posting Pics Of Vomit And Sweltering Conditions After Outage At Multiple Airports Strands Thousands

An issue with a United States Customs and Border Security computer system caused delays.

Originally posted on
Updated on

An outage in the US Customs and Border Security processing systems left customers stranded in several major airports Monday.

Is anyone aware of the computer system meltdown at the #MIA Immigration? Thousands sitting in nonstop lines, no AC.… https://t.co/dpnsIYpPTF

A spokesperson for the agency told BuzzFeed News the "temporary outage" of its technology affected several airports, and was fixed around 9:00 p.m. ET.

@wsvn immigration @ M.I.A. Hundreds waiting, system has been down for hours

"Travelers at some ports of entry are experiencing longer than usual wait times and CBP officers are working to process travelers as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest levels of security," they said.

As the outage progressed, passengers scheduled to fly on the New Year's Day holiday began to share photos of the insanely long lines and what they called hot and "dangerous" conditions.

Craziness @iflymia Immigration sys down... Hundreds in line...Very dangerous. Been here for 180 min & no progress.… https://t.co/nHLYCizqSH

People tweeted photos of the delays in airports in major cities like Miami, Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, DC, among others.

After a 12,5h flight from #FRA to #SFO on our way to #HICSS50 the U.S. Border Control System ist down. In the… https://t.co/JfTehkNldK

The spokesperson did not return an inquiry from BuzzFeed News about how many airports were affected.

Some people reported they saw "thousands" standing in line.

36 unusable passport express kiosks, 20 unused global entry, 1000 people. 8 agents. 1 hour wait. Welcome to Dulles… https://t.co/OitqEw4wqQ

To make matters worse, passengers in Miami tweeted that the large crowd made it very hot where they were waiting.

.@iflymia PLEASE turn on your air conditioning for everybody waiting in line for customs/immigration. People are getting very agitated.

Someone even vomited in the line.

Vomit on the floor and passports being turned into fans as temperatures and tempers rise at marathon Miami… https://t.co/0x8PJWFrHi

"People are throwing up in the hallway waiting for customs:immigration," said one person.

@iflymia people are throwing up in the hallway waiting for customs:immigration.

People began to tweet that it was growing out of control.

@iflymia @CustomsBorder - lady next to me is having a breakdown & there is a physical fight going on around the corner

As in, some people began to turn on each other.

Other people tweeted they were stuck on the plane.

Update from pilot....because customs computers are down...we are the 20th plane in line for a gate. 😂

The agency spokesperson said there wasn't any indication that the outage was "malicious in nature."

"During the technology disruption, CBP had access to national security-related databases and all travelers were screened according to security standards," the spokesperson said.

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at stephanie.mcneal@buzzfeed.com.

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