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Computer glitches mar first full day at new Bangkok airport

29-Sep-2006

Bangkok (XFNews-ASIA) - Passengers at Bangkok's new international airport faced delays in collecting their bags and checking in on the first full day of operations today because of computer and mechanical glitches.

Thousands of passengers arriving on the first flights had to wait an hour to collect their bags as equipment was slow in arriving from the old airport, which closed during the night.

"The delay was caused by the delay of moving Thai Airways ground handling equipment from the old airport to the new one," said Chotisak Asapaviriya, president of Airports of Thailand, which operates the facility.

"It's just a minor error, and it will be the only one. We will never let this happen again," he said.

But at Thai Airways check-in counters, computers crashed before the first flights out of the new Suvarnabhumi Airport, causing delays as airline workers had to issue handwritten boarding passes and baggage claim tags.

That left long lines, but many passengers seemed prepared for delays on the first full day of operations, when some 800 flights will fly through.

"Today is the first day, so we don't expect anything to go well," said Paul Millar, a 46-year-old Briton who works in Bangkok.

"Fortunately we arrived early just in case," he said.


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