Computer Glitch Delays Ben-Gurion Flights, Strands Passengers

The problem with a new system that sorts and X-rays luggage was solved after about five hours, the Airports Authority announced.

Zohar Blumenkrantz
Zohar Blumenkrantz
Terminal 3 at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
Terminal 3 at Ben-Gurion International Airport.Credit: Alon Ron
Zohar Blumenkrantz
Zohar Blumenkrantz

A computer glitch caused the delay of some 20 outgoing flights and massive lines of travelers at Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday morning.

At about midday on Sunday, six hours after the problem with the luggage sorting system began, the airport announced that it had been fixed.

Airport director Shmuel Zakai said he would immediately convene a professional committee to examine the causes of the problem.

An estimated 4,000 travellers were affected by the glitch, which shut down the monitoring capabilities of the system that checks and X-rays suitcases.

The Airports Authority issued a statement saying that "the new baggage sorting system, which went into operation in March 2014, experienced a complicated problem. Since the introduction of the system, over one-and-a-half million suitcases have passed through it. The system was installed by Siemens and is under guarantee.

"It was also Siemens that identified the problem and corrected it. An augmented team, including both day and night workers, did manual sorting when the problem was identified, thus enabling the boarding of many passengers."

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