KLIA systems still crippled, but operations improving on third day (VIDEO)

Travellers queue up to check-in for their flights at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang August 24, 2019. ― Pictures by Miera Zulyana
Travellers queue up to check-in for their flights at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang August 24, 2019. ― Pictures by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 ― The network failure that forced the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) into manual mode the past four nights continued to plague its systems today.

While the airport system continues to suffer intermittent disruptions, operations appear to be smoother now.

“We are glad to see smooth passenger flow at the terminal right now. Stay with us for further updates,” Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) tweeted on its official account at 12.30pm.

National news agency Bernama reported fewer crowds and shorter lines at the main terminal’s check-in counters at 9.30am.

Long lines are seen at the check-in counters in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang August 24, 2019.
Long lines are seen at the check-in counters in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang August 24, 2019.

A number of air travellers affected by the disruption remain critical of the airport services.

“Just imagine, waking up early in the morning just to experience this,” Twitter user Azlinariah posted on the microblogging site over her flight that was scheduled to depart from KLIA at 9.40am but delayed twice, resulting in a nine-hour wait.

However, many other travellers took to social media to express their appreciation for airport, airline and retail staff who went all out on the floor to lift their flagging spirits.

Nurul Aisyah Ibrahim praised the ground crew and recalled a simpler time when boarding passes and luggage tags were written by hand instead of having it printed.

Malaysian Airport personnel distribute refreshments to passengers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport August 24,2019.
Malaysian Airport personnel distribute refreshments to passengers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport August 24,2019.

“Back to basics with handwritten boarding pass and luggage tag. Stay strong all KLIA staff, hang in there! Thank you for assisting us and distributing drinking water and buns,” she tweeted.

MAHB had deployed its customer service ambassadors since Thursday and around 1,000 staff to help deal with the situation. They had also requested volunteers from their ranks to assist stranded passengers.

Their plea had tugged at public heartstrings with some volunteering to assist MAHB in its time of need.

Fast food giant McDonald's also showed their support for KLIA by providing free refreshments to travellers waiting for their flight.

“TQ @McDMalaysia  for surprising our passengers with your wonderful brew of free coffee and refreshing orange juice!

“We’re still rectifying our system, and this sweet gesture by everyone’s favourite ‘Mekdis’ so early in the morning is simply wonderful. #MYairportsupdates,” MAHB tweeted this morning.

 

In a statement yesterday MAHB group chief executive officer Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin said that there has been progress in their network stability after they replaced faulty hardware equipment causing the network failure.

“Critical systems at  the KLIA main terminal are now mostly up and running,” he said.

Passengers queue up to check-in for their flights at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang August 24, 2019.
Passengers queue up to check-in for their flights at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang August 24, 2019.

This was the first time KLIA faced such a dire situation since it first began operations in 1998 and it was reported that its old system could be a main factor behind the problem.

The glitch on KLIA’s Total Airport Management Systems (TAMS) which began on Wednesday night had affected key systems including the airport's WiFi connection, flight information display systems (FIDS), check-in counters and the baggage handling system.

At the height of its problem yesterday, airport staff had to creatively find a solution to the problem, including displaying flight information on a white board. 

Air travellers are advised to use the web or mobile check-in applications, arrive at KLIA at least four hours ahead of their scheduled departure times and to approach MAHB staff for further assistance if they encounter problems.