Customs’ system back online at US airports, including Dulles

Alexandra Marquez tweeted a photo of the scene at Dulles just after 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019.
(Courtesy Alexandra Marquez via Twitter)

After several hours and thousands of travelers stuck in long lines at airports across the U.S., including Dulles International Airport in Virginia, Customs and Border Protection said that affected systems are coming back online.

Travelers are being processed again.

Mark Williams, of Warrenton, Virginia, flew in from Frankfurt, Germany, and after sitting on the plane for an hour and a half, he was able to breeze through customs because he has Global Entry. His wife, however, did not.

“I’m just waiting here,” he said, until his wife is able to get through. “I’ve never seen such a mess.”

The outage Friday affected international arrivals. Some airports, such as JFK, LAX and Sea-Tac, told travelers via Twitter that officers have been processing people manually.

Across the country travelers posted pictures of long lines at Kennedy International Airport in New York and at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

CBP personnel said that the agency was holding daytime staff to help process travelers.

Richmond, Virginia, resident Natalie flew in from France, and she said that she and her family waited for a total of three hours to get processed.

“Everyone was incredibly helpful, all the staff,” she said. “People didn’t seem too frustrated, but it’s definitely not what we wanted to come home to.”

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino and Michelle Basch, who reported from Dulles Airport in Virginia, contributed to this report.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2019 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up