Smooth check-ins at KLIA after 3-day disruption

Airport CARE ambassador Raja Intan Umairah Raja Ikram (right) serving drinks to passengers waiting for their flights at KLIA this morning. ( Bernama pic)

SEPANG: Passengers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) were seen checking in without much hassle today after a disruption in systems since Wednesday night caused flight delays.

Most of those interviewed expressed satisfaction with the situation, which has improved following a network equipment replacement undertaken by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

MAHB said yesterday it had identified network failure as the cause of the disruption in systems.

Based on Bernama’s observation at 3.30pm today, most passengers did not face difficulties checking in, with some even saying they were not aware there was a disruption in systems.

An MAHB spokesperson said technical glitches also happened in other airports around the world but KLIA was fortunate in that it continued operating despite the network failure.

“They (MAHB staff) have rallied together, showing good teamwork in managing the incident.

“Ours (KLIA) is not so bad. We are still up and running. We have managed this quite well,” he said when met by reporters here today.

He said in 2018, Heathrow Airport had to halt dozens of flights due to a technical issue. In 2013, flights were delayed across the United Kingdom and Ireland because of an air traffic control centre fault.

A traveller, Linda Khoo, 40, said staff at KLIA were very professional as they did their best to help passengers who had missed flights due to the delays.

“I was supposed to fly to Bangkok last night at 10.35. Then due to the technical problems, I missed the flight. So they (MAS) arranged a room for me.

“My flight was at 9am today but was delayed till 10am,” said Khoo, who is the Malaysian National News Agency’s correspondent in Bangkok.

Another passenger, Yazid Mohamed, 50, said he knew about the disruption in systems and expressed relief that the airports operator has managed to resolve the problem.

“My flight to Johor Bahru was supposed to be at 3.30pm but has now been delayed to 4.30pm; it was not too bad. The check-in process was smooth and I guess everything is coming back to normal,” he said.

Norsiah Syahruddin, 27, said she and her mother decided to come to the airport five hours earlier after reading about the disruption in systems.

“My Malindo flight to Kota Kinabalu is at 2.15pm but I arrived at 8am.

“We were concerned because we did not know what would happen; so we had to come early. On arrival, we learned that the flight has been rescheduled to 3pm,” said Norsiah, who had come for a convocation in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 20.

Another passenger, Chris Anns, 60, said he did not face any problems at the check-in counter.

“It was reasonably smooth and my flight was not delayed,” he said. He was on transit from Vietnam to Perth.

MAHB staff have been working over 12 hours daily to improve traffic flow and assist passengers since the airport was hit by the technical glitches.

The network failure affected the flight information display system (FIDS), check-in counters, baggage handling system, WiFi connection and even the credit card systems at retail and food and beverage stores.

At 3.30pm, airport CARE ambassadors were seen distributing packed lunch and drinks to passengers.

It was reported that the technical outage is the first ever major complaint at KLIA since it opened in June 1998.

Previous disruptions to operations at the international airport were due to power failure, which resulted in a total blackout of the whole of KLIA and delays in six flights in September 2003.