Security Check Bug Sparks Luggage Mayhem at Israel's Main Airport

Massive lines at check-in counters and hundreds of pieces of grounded luggage at Ben Gurion Airport.

FILE PHOTO: Massive lines at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport. March 2, 2016.
Ofer Vaknin

A technical fault with Ben Gurion Airport's automatic screening system led to delays and massive lines early Thursday, disrupting baggage distribution at Israel's international airport.

The airport authority said that "backup crews are working to make sure all flights take off one time and that the 15,000 travelers expecting to fly do so on schedule." Though the glitch was fixed by early noon, many still reported delays as the system struggled to get back on schedule.

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Nonetheless, hundreds of pieces of luggage remained grounded even after their owners had taken off. The airport promised to send the luggage later Thursday.

The error with the Hold Baggage Screening system has yet to be resolved, but the airport expects it to be within the next hours.

The system automatically scans and distributes all of the luggage that passes through the airport's main international terminal (Terminal 3), so when the system fails to work, it can cause wide-scale chaos at the airport.

The error was discovered overnight, though no additional details were given. Passengers traveling Thursday were urged to arrive three hours before take-off.

Some 50,000 people are expected to pass through Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday.