Tamara Salem

LONDON – A massive IT outage from provider Vodafone shut down all flight information display boards in London-Gatwick Airport’s (LGW) North and South terminals.

Staff at LGW had to think quickly and revert to quite an old method—the Whiteboard.

Pictured below by Edmund von der Berg, staff members were seen updating the whiteboard with the statuses of all of the flights due to depart Gatwick.

Photo: Edmund von der Berg

Gatwick Airport said, “We are sorry, but due to an IT issue our flight information is not displaying correctly. Please use the temporary flight boards in the departure lounges or listen for airline flight announcements. We are expecting to resolve the issue soon and apologize for the inconvenience.”

“Due to damage to a Vodafone fiber optic cable, we are continuing to display our flight info manually. Contingencies are working – we have whiteboards and friendly staff on hand to help, and tens of thousands of passengers have departed on time. Apologies for any inconvenience.”

A Vodafone spokesperson said, “We have identified a damaged fiber cable which is used by Gatwick Airport to display flight information. Our engineers are working hard to fix the cable as quickly as possible. This is a top priority for us and we are very sorry for any problems caused by this issue. We are keeping Gatwick Airport constantly informed of progress.”

The fact that some passengers have still managed to depart on time suggests that the contingencies did work.

The queues to see a Whiteboard at London Gatwick.

A picture taken by a traveler via Twitter shows the large and extensive queues to be able to see the single whiteboard in the area.

Another complaint by fellow travelers was that the LGW Twitter account could have published photos of the flight boards to reduce overcrowding.

While this may be an inconvenience to travelers, their flights are still departing on time, which can be credited to the staff giving regular updates at the airport and pointing them in the right direction.

At the time of publishing this story, the problem has not yet been solved and the LGW staff continues to use the whiteboard as a primary form of flight information.

It is also unclear when they can expect the problem to be solved.

This is a developing story.