Over 1,000 flyers stuck at IGIA as snag hits immigration system
Officials from the immigration department, which comes under the ministry of home affairs, did not say what the reason behind the outage was, calling it a “technical snag”. No official statement was issued.Updated: Apr 30, 2019 07:10 IST
Over 1,000 flyers were stuck for up to an hour early on Monday morning as Delhi’s immigration services server crashed for 90 minutes during the peak time for international flights at the country’s busiest airport, according to multiple officials and passengers.
Between 12.15am and 1.45am, officials at the immigration counters were forced to clear inbound and outbound passengers manually because the online passport entry system collapsed. It takes an average 10-15 minutes to clear a passenger manually, as opposed to one-two minutes through the automated system, said an official present at the airport at the time.
Officials from the immigration department, which comes under the ministry of home affairs, did not say what the reason behind the outage was, calling it a “technical snag”. No official statement was issued.
“The normalcy was restored but the ripple affect continued as about 500 passengers were in the queue at about 10 counters. During the time of snag, we tried to clear passenger through manual mode but that also takes time. The rush was cleared by morning,” said the official cited in the first instance.
According to a second airport official, at least six international departing/arriving flights were affected during the 90-minute period, and a dozen more due to the backlog even after the system was restored. During the duration of the glitch, at least two dozen flights were scheduled to land and take-off, according to the airport log. Delhi airport handles about 18 million international passengers annually.
Several passengers registered their grievances on social media. “Yesterday in Delhi Airport immigration it was a total chaos due to some system failure. Ultimately the officers started noting the details manually to allow passengers to move out. this could be a major threat as well. Wondering when we will move to biometrics,” wrote Navin Tenani on Twitter at 1.58pm.
Another passenger Kshitij Bhotika tweeted at 12.30am: “Delhi Airport the immigration systems are down, with an endless line of passengers in the queue. Airport staff is inefficient at best. Whoever rated Delhi airport one of the better ones on the world?!”
An Air India official said that crew of three flights were stuck.
The immigration system failure comes two days after at least 20,000 passengers were stranded for hours at domestic and overseas airports after the software that runs Air India’s main computer server developed a glitch. The software, which enables the airline to hand out boarding passes and handle check-in baggage, was down for scheduled maintenance between 3.30am and 4.30am on Saturday before running into the snag that was eventually fixed at around 9am.
Air India flights, which were affected by check-in server glitch for two days, were affected on Monday also. Of the 352 flights operated by the airline, 29 were delayed by more than an hour.