Passengers waiting to fly out of London’s Gatwick airport Monday morning local time were left squinting and craning their necks to read whiteboards crammed with critical flight information. Via its Twitter account, an airport spokesperson apologised to travellers, explaining that “damage to a Vodafone fibre optic cable” took down the airport’s flight info screens, forcing them to respond with “contingencies” — specifically, the whiteboards you’d find in a Year Eight English class.
— Edmund von der Burg (@evdb) August 20, 2018
Due to damage to a Vodafone fibre 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.
— Gatwick Airport LGW (@Gatwick_Airport) August 20, 2018
Passengers tweeting out their frustrations explained that Gatwick officials literally shouted out departure and arrival times, manually updating flight information on the board while crowded by hundreds of frustrated travellers.
Gatwick is Britain’s second-busiest airport, after Heathrow, serving 45 million passengers annually. Quartz reports that August is the busiest month of the year for the airport. As of around 5PM local time, the screens were still down.