20 August, 2018

Blank information screens at London Gatwick leaves passengers confused

A technical problem with fiber optic cables left the passenger information screens at London Gatwick airport blank for most of the day!

Members of staff at the UK's second busiest international airport had to resort to using felt-tipped marker pens and whiteboards to update passengers on boarding gates and departure times. The TV screens stopped working early this morning with teams of Vodaphone engineers, the airports IT providers, working furiously to rectify the situation.

Staff at the airport had to listen to radio communications to continuously update the whiteboards with gate information, so passengers knew where to go.  An airport spokesperson apologised to customers for the inconvenience and said the airport's "manual contingency plan", which included having extra staff on hand to help direct passengers, had worked reasonably well. Although it is believed that a small number of passengers had missed their flights due to the problems, but, no flights were cancelled. 

The fault was rectified at around 5pm this evening and all screens were back online and normal operations were resumed. Many passengers used social media to criticise the airport, whilst others remained positive saying a lot of people were "scurrying around with markers and erasers" and it was "surprisingly calm and ordered".