Customs computer crash causes airport delays nationwide

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A plane waits at John F. Kennedy Airport on February 28, 2013 in New York City. Should the $85 billion in automatic federal budget cuts, known as the sequester, go into effect Friday as scheduled, airport control towers in a number of states could close, putting pilots and staff members at risk. In addition to the closed control towers, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers could be furloughed, leading to long waits and confusion at many airport security checkpoints.

The air travel industry is always trying to improve their services and today they let passengers experience what it's like when a movie villain shuts down America's computer systems. The Daily News reports that the Department of Homeland Security system used to check airline passengers against terror watch lists began going down on the East Coast around 7 p.m., then the outages spread across the country. Officials told NBC News they were using alternate methods to check international passengers, and at Boston's Logan Airport people were seen filling out paper forms. But the issue still led to long lines, delays, and confusion at several major airports, and passengers were not happy:

Officials said the system was back online shortly after 9, and there's no evidence of sabotage or hacking. So if this were actually an action movie, John McClane would be fighting run-of-the-mill computer problems.

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