On Monday, travelers at several airports, including Paris Aéroports (Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly), experienced longer waiting times due to a “national outage.” The outage lasted for three hours before returning to normal around 3 a.m., as reported by Paris Aéroports. The computer system used by the Border Police experienced a breakdown, affecting the Parafe airlocks upon departure and arrival at the airports.
These airlocks enable automated screening of travelers entering and exiting the Schengen Area, and the outage was expected to lead to increased waiting times at departures and arrivals. However, only Paris Aéroport communicated about the situation while other airports did not, leading to confusion and frustration for many travelers.
The Parafe system is used in several French airports, train stations, and port of Calais. It allows border crossing formalities to be carried out in an automated, fluid, and rapid manner. The outage affected many travelers who were advised to postpone their flights by the general directorate of civil aviation.
Travelers in queue were apologized to by Paris Aéroports as they waited an average of 40 minutes for an hour at border control. Air traffic was also disrupted due to a national social movement that resulted in cancellations and delays throughout the day. Despite the inconvenience caused by both events, travelers were assured that things would return to normal as soon as possible.
Overall, Monday’s experience highlighted the importance of clear communication during unexpected events at airports. Travelers rely on accurate information about wait times and disruptions in order to make informed decisions about their travel plans.