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Internet Outage At SMF Leads To Long Day For Holiday Travelers

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Ask anyone who was at Sacramento International Airport within the last 24 hours and they'll tell you — it was a long day.

Merl Nunes traveled from Vacaville to pick up his granddaughter traveling as an unaccompanied minor. When he entered the airport, he was unsure where to go.

"I do this all the time and I've never seen it so packed," Nunes said. "When I first walked in, I knew something was going on."

On one of the busiest travel days of the year, an AT&T system-wide internet outage that has since been restored affected multiple airlines and thousands of travelers.

With the internet and computer systems down, airport staff had to check-in ticketed passengers manually. By the time the problems were fixed, it was too late for some

MORE: Internet Outage Caused Major Flight Delays At Sacramento International Airport

Ufuomam Egbikuadg was traveling back to Los Angeles

"Yeah, I missed my flight," she said. "They have to rebook me, but I don't know when. Hopefully, I won't have to stay overnight."

According to AT&T, a car crash Saturday evening damaged a bundle of fiber-optic cables.  Flights delayed Saturday night were able to get out and Southwest Airlines was impacted most of Sunday and was forced to cancel over 10 flights.

From San Diego, John Van Ryan had to send his wife and child ahead of him while he dealt with the luggage

"Just 20 minutes ago they said the system was back up and running and they're still working through the issue," Van Ryan said.

Throughout the day, airport staff relied on concessions to bring pastries, coffee and water to frustrated travelers. Airport spokesperson Samantha Mott said they were doing the best they can to make people comfortable.

"We understand that typically holiday travel anyways can be very stressful," Mott said. "We have additional staff on hand to assist passengers in any way we can."

Not everyone was appreciative.

"It's frustrating I've been in the line forever," Jana Troester, of Roseville, said. "I've been here for an hour and I haven't even got up there to check my bag yet."

Grant Marcouillier, of Sacramento, was traveling with 2 toddlers.

"I think it's to be expected, he said. "Holiday was unfortunate the computer system went down, but it is what it is. "

For the most part, Sunday passengers like Rachel Larson who missed her flight to Denver were understanding and taking it in stride.

"We can't control the internet or the planes leaving or anything, so why get all huffy and puffy about it," Larson said. "We'll be here anyway."

The airport is still encouraging passengers to check in with their airline carriers before coming to the airport to see if their flight is impacted by cancellations or delays.

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