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Passengers miss flights after IT failure forces Gatwick to use whiteboards

Gatwick Airport has resorted to using whiteboards (Ayla Herbert/Press Association) Photo: Press Association Images

Gatwick Airport is using whiteboards to display flight information following an IT failure.

Staff have resorted to manually writing out crucial information such as gate numbers for each departure from the UK’s second busiest airport.

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Some passengers have missed their flights due to the issue, which the West Sussex airport said was caused by damage to a fibre optic cable.

August is one of the busiest periods of the year for airports as many families embark on summer holidays.

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A Gatwick spokesman said: “Due to an ongoing issue with Vodafone – a provider of IT services for Gatwick – flight information is not being displayed correctly on the airport’s digital screens and is currently being displayed manually in the terminals.

“Gatwick would like to apologise to any passengers affected and expects Vodafone to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

Passengers clustered around the whiteboard at Gatwick Credit: Robin Blandford/PA

He added that a “handful of people have missed their flights” as a result of the problem.

Ayla Herbert, 26, from Penryn, Cornwall, was at the airport for a Flybe flight to Newquay when she encountered a crowd gathered around two whiteboards after passing through security.

She told the Press Association: “Each flight was written down, flight number, time of departure, time of when boarding would be announced and eventually the gate number.

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“This crowd over the hours grew larger and larger. Being in the entrance way of the departures it got incredibly busy, people were agitated, yelling for them to tell them their flight info and to get more boards for the South Terminal.

“This was never done. The guys did well keeping everyone updated, but it was hard to see if you weren’t close to the board. They used megaphones to tell everyone of updated information.”