Staff were forced to begin checking in passengers manually following a server failure at 9am. Some flights leaving Sydney were delayed by over an hour.
"It was an IT outage and we got on to it as quickly as we could," said Virgin Blue's general manager of public affairs Heather Jeffery. "Obviously we apologise to customers."
|Virgin Blue passengers face a long wait to check
in at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport [click to enlarge].
Credit Patrick Gray.
While Jeffery claimed the server was back up and running within an hour, abnormally large queues were still present at Virgin Blue's check-in desks at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport at 11:45am.
"It's not something that we're pleased about whatsoever and we apologise to our customers," Jeffery said. "We're working as quickly as possible to bring flight options into normal."
Bad weather hasn't helped to rectify Virgin Blue's scheduling woes, but Jeffery expects departure times to return to normal by day's end. "It isn't a frequent occurrence and we wouldn't expect that to happen again," she told ZDNet Australia.
While frustrated by the delays, customers on the ground praised the airline's ground-based staff for their handling of the situation. "They deserve a medal for the way they've conducted themselves," said Jim Beattie, a passenger on the airline's 11:45am service to Ballina, which touched down an hour and ten minutes behind schedule.