Late check-in: Waiting to catch their delayed Virgin Blue flight to Sydney at the Ballina-Byron Gateway Airport yesterday are (from left) Rob Golic, Natalie Silva, Matthew Golic, 8, and Serge Silva, all from Sydney.
Late check-in: Waiting to catch their delayed Virgin Blue flight to Sydney at the Ballina-Byron Gateway Airport yesterday are (from left) Rob Golic, Natalie Silva, Matthew Golic, 8, and Serge Silva, all from Sydney. Cathy Adams

Delays frustrate Virgin passengers

PEOPLE around the country were frustrated as they waited for their delayed Virgin Blue flights yesterday, and the story was no different at the Ballina-Byron Gateway Airport.

A major computer failure at Virgin Blue’s information technology provider at 8am on Sunday caused chaos at domestic airports nationwide, in particular Sydney airport.

Thousands of passengers were left waiting hours for their delayed or cancelled flights, with some people being put up in hotels for the night until the next day’s flight.

Although the chaos had significantly subsided yesterday, the backlog continued with average flight delays of half an hour and 17 flight cancellations nationwide (as of 4pm yesterday).

Ballina-Byron Gateway Airport manager Neil Weatherson said Virgin Blue’s network failure caused delays of up to three hours at the local airport on Sunday.

“The place was full, but everyone was looked after pretty well,” he said. “Understandably, people had appointments they missed and they were disappointed, but I think they realised it was happening all over the country.”

Virgin Blue’s system outage of check-in and boarding systems meant staff had to manually check-in passengers and their baggage one-by-one.

Rob Golic and Natalie Silva were flying home to Sydney from Ballina with Virgin Blue yesterday when their flight was delayed.

“I have been on many flights with Virgin and have dealt with things like this,” Ms Silva said.

“This has put our timetable out. I saw the delays on the news last night and thought we might be affected, but just hoped there would be no severe delays,” Mr Golic said.

Passengers with delays of more than four hours were given a flight credit note.



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