Air Canada's computer systems back online following outage
Published Monday, March 12, 2018 12:32PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 12, 2018 10:40PM EDT
Air Canada’s computer systems are back up and running after the company’s airport systems, check in and customer call centres all experienced outages for several hours on Monday.
“We can confirm airport systems, check-in and customer call centres are now all back online,” the company tweeted Monday afternoon, remaining silent on what caused the outage. “We’re expecting some flight delays but we’re getting everyone on their way. Please check your flight status before going to the airport. We thank customers for their patience.”
Despite the systems returning to normal after about two hours, airports across Canada were affected. The delays were especially felt in Ontario and Nova Scotia, where March Break travel is in full swing.
At Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, there were more than 70 flights listed as delayed or cancelled, all because of the Air Canada glitch. Check-in kiosks were down with lineups stretching down the terminal and around the corner. Some international flights faced delays of up to two-and-a-half hours.
“I have five flights that are going to be delayed,” Patrick Coria, a tour manager with Senior Discovery Tours, told CP24. Coria is taking a group of tourists to southern Italy. The group was scheduled to meet in Toronto before heading to Europe. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we get everyone to this terminal and on this flight,” he said.
Across the country, Sean Clifford was hoping to fly to Toronto when the outage clogged Vancouver’s International Airport. “(I) just got in line, saw that all the ticket counters were kind of locked up. Just been waiting ever since,” he told CTV National News.
Air Canada’s check-in system also had technical difficulties in January, causing “minimal delays,” according to a company spokesperson.
Passengers stuck at airports posted pictures on social media of long lines with hundreds of people waiting.
Some travellers complained of a lack of information provided by airport staff at the beginning of the outage. Eventually, an announcement was made at Pearson to inform travellers that Air Canada was experiencing computer difficulties.
“And then they brought out the cookies and drinks, which usually means you’re here for a while,” one man told CTV Toronto.
“It’s been kind of chaos,” said another man. “Everyone is trying to figure out what line to go in.”
At least one flyer was issued a handwritten boarding pass while the computer system was down. Jim Harris tweeted an image of the pass as he was heading to Regina. He later joked that he’d like to cross his destination out and write “Cancun” instead.
As snow started falling Monday afternoon in Toronto, there were concerns that the weather might cause further delays, but everything seemed to be back on track at Terminal One. Air Canada officials said there is a flexible re-booking policy for affected travellers.
Air Canada reports Computer/Telecommunication issue resolved; operations returning to normal. Check-in online & check flt status before going to airport. Flexible rebooking available online at no fee. More: https://t.co/p39ZGcBexG— Air Canada (@AirCanada) March 12, 2018
My first hand written boarding pass ever (at least that I remember). Air Canada's systems are down for the last 90 minutes so expect cascading flight delays today #aircanada #travel #canada pic.twitter.com/aMBxiwpuie— Jim Harris (@JimHarris) March 12, 2018
With files from CTV Toronto’s John Musselman and CTV's B.C. Bureau Chief Melanie Nagy.