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    'Not the Whiteboard, Please!' Twitter Ablaze as Gatwick Info Screens Fail

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    An IT glitch at Britain's second-busiest transport hub has caused pandemonium for travelers catching flights on Monday. Twitter users have reacted to the incident, expressing dismay, confusion and, at times, humor.

    The networking snafu caused London Gatwick to "descend into chaos," forcing airport staff to write down flight information on whiteboards, The Telegraph stated.

    Many customers missed their flights as a result. Airport staff and security instructed each other via handheld radios and feverishly scribbled incoming notices on whiteboards. Technicians later projected those updates on a computer screen for passengers.  

    READ MORE: Worst Decision Ever: UK Courts Jail French Citizen for Hoax Bomb Threat

    "We are sorry, but due to an IT issue our flight information is not displaying correctly," a Gatwick spokesperson tweeted at 8:20 am GMT. "Please use the temporary flight boards in the departure lounges or listen for airline flight announcements," it added. 

    "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," the airport's website read. 

    Amid a flurry of updates blaring through the loudspeakers, Gatwick staff managed to identify the source of their woes: a damaged fiber optic cable. 

    "We have identified a damaged fibre cable which is used by Gatwick Airport to display flight information," a spokesperson tweeted. 

    "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." 

    READ MORE: Chaos in Gatwick Airport as Thousands of People Trying to Leave for Bank Holiday

    Twitter users expressed confusion and outrage

    "Never ever ever trust @VodafoneUK. And now you see why," English film director Alex Packer tweeted. 

    Others rushed to Vodafone's defense, calling out the airport's spokespeople for "deflecting" their failed disaster contingency plans on to others. "Other than deflection; what value does the word @VodafoneUK add to that sentence," Mark Bridge chided. 

    Others lambasted Gatwick for not simply updating the airport website with the relevant information. "Not the whiteboard, please!!! There's something they call INTERNET … Just fill the column for gate numbers. It's there," Dutch singer and songwriter Simon Oak decried. 

    Some were torn between catching their flight on time and capitalizing on a golden opportunity to shop.  

    "Announcements really clear by Harrods, we couldn't hear them before. Trouble is I'm now staring at lots of lovely handbags 😜", travel blogger Charley Dove tweeted. 

    One Londoner proficient in IT systems took the opportunity to lampoon the beleaguered airport. "So the screens can't be hooked up locally to a laptop," he commented. 

    This is not Gatwick Airport's first crisis this summer. A southeast England Southern Rail train service to the airport was temporarily shut down on May 6 due to rail engineering work. Around 4,000 customers were left stranded, according to The Sun. 

    The incident triggered equally chaotic scenes of panic as passengers were forced to board replacement buses in order to arrive on time for their bank holiday plans.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    Gatwick airport, airport, blackout, United Kingdom
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