Hong Kong Airport Faces Backlash From Passengers After Screen Glitch Causes Missed Flights

By Thea Felicity

Jun 23, 2024 12:02 PM EDT

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HONG KONG, CHINA - DECEMBER 30: Travellers walk with their luggage at the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International Airport on December 30, 2022 in Hong Kong, China. Authorities around the world are imposing or considering curbs on travellers from China as COVID-19 case there surge following its relaxation of Zero-COVID rules.
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Hong Kong's airport faced widespread criticism on Sunday, June 23, after a display screen failure left passengers without important flight and baggage information. According to the South China Morning Post, experts have called out the Airport Authority for its delayed response and lack of a strong emergency plan, which resulted in chaos and some passengers missing their flights.

The incident began at 7:00 a.m. when problems were first noticed. However, it took the Airport Authority two hours to alert the public and notify airlines, leading to confusion and frustration among travelers. 

A makeshift solution involving handwritten whiteboard updates attracted crowds desperate for information, but this approach was criticized for its inadequacy.

Entertainment businessman and former Airport Authority board member Allan Zeman emphasized the importance of having a reliable backup system. "We need a very strong functioning airport," he said. 

Zeman proposed that airports should have different backup models for "many technologies" at the airport, especially the one where passengers get their information.

The delayed response puzzled Ronald Pong, an information security management specialist. He argued that proper monitoring should have allowed the issue to be detected and addressed immediately. 

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Hong Kong Airport Passengers

A few hours after the Hong Kong airport malfunction, the South China Morning Post reported that passengers expressed dissatisfaction with handling the situation. 

Jacob Ng, a Macau resident, missed his flight to Cebu due to a lack of timely information. During the nine-hour glitch, Ng and other passengers complained about the lack of communication and poor management.

The Airport Authority later stated that no flights were canceled or delayed due to the system failure, but because of the lack of information, it did not address the number of passengers who missed their flights. 

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