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Old 30 Apr 16, 09:19 PM  
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blusteryday
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Originally Posted by mouli1 View Post
smell a rat , if other usa bound flights took off on time , think a rabbit is away and the problems were airlines and the esta stuff was a ruse to avoid paying compo
Rats?

Rabbits?

Has this anything to do with the with the weasel closing the Hadron collider?
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Old 30 Apr 16, 09:53 PM  
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We were exactly the same yesterday at Manchester. Flying thomson departure meant to be 11am. Got to check in at 8.20am to find no one going anywhere. Told that system was down for checking esta status and apparently an error message was coming up and not allowing the rest of the check in process to be completed. It was asked if there was a back up system and the answer was no. Also over heard that virgin and Thomas Cook had the same issues.

We spoke to a couple at the front of the queue and they had printed their esta approval out as they were delayed last year for the same reason. The wife had been checked in and issued a boarding pass and the system had gone down when they started he checking in her husband. Made no difference that they had their esta approvals printed out.

We had a lovely 2.5 hour wait in the check in area before it finally came back on line, just as they started handing food/drink vouchers out to everyone, they gave 3 per person, very generous! Thankfully the flight took off only 1.5 hrs late and the pilot made up some time so we only arrived just over an hour after our scheduled time.
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Old 1 May 16, 08:53 PM  
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STRESSED MOTHER
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Originally Posted by familyofthree View Post
We were exactly the same yesterday at Manchester. Flying thomson departure meant to be 11am. Got to check in at 8.20am to find no one going anywhere. Told that system was down for checking esta status and apparently an error message was coming up and not allowing the rest of the check in process to be completed. It was asked if there was a back up system and the answer was no. Also over heard that virgin and Thomas Cook had the same issues.

We spoke to a couple at the front of the queue and they had printed their esta approval out as they were delayed last year for the same reason. The wife had been checked in and issued a boarding pass and the system had gone down when they started he checking in her husband. Made no difference that they had their esta approvals printed out.

We had a lovely 2.5 hour wait in the check in area before it finally came back on line, just as they started handing food/drink vouchers out to everyone, they gave 3 per person, very generous! Thankfully the flight took off only 1.5 hrs late and the pilot made up some time so we only arrived just over an hour after our scheduled time.
I think we really drew the short straw as an Emirates flight from Dubai came in whilst all this was going on and then went back out
before us- think they May have had superiority lol- I dont think the ground crew could cope either. As for other airlines having probs - most of the virgin flights from Manchester, Glasgow and Gatwick on that day into MCO were all on time according to the flight stats website.

Edited at 08:56 PM.
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Old 1 May 16, 11:59 PM  
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Originally Posted by STRESSED MOTHER View Post
I think we really drew the short straw as an Emirates flight from Dubai came in whilst all this was going on and then went back out
before us- think they May have had superiority lol- I dont think the ground crew could cope either. As for other airlines having probs - most of the virgin flights from Manchester, Glasgow and Gatwick on that day into MCO were all on time according to the flight stats website.
I know, at the beginning we were told that Thomas Cook and Virgin had the same problems but after about 30 mins decided to take our DS for a walk and there was no queue at the virgin desk despite there being a flight scheduled to MCO 15 mins before ours. Not sure if they were higher priority than Thomson when system was being restarted?
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Old 2 May 16, 01:20 AM  
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1. I don't care what anyone says, I print copies of all the digital stuff for my holiday. I also take screenprints so I can show them even with no wi-fi. In my defence, I travel solo so don't have anyone for back-up !

2. This story from Thomsons about the ESTA system being down stinks. The airports would be in chaos if all US bound planes were slow to load and take off due to this. Not heard anything on the news so I'm assuming it's a problem with Thomson"s own systems.
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Old 2 May 16, 03:29 AM  
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Originally Posted by STRESSED MOTHER View Post
I think we really drew the short straw as an Emirates flight from Dubai came in whilst all this was going on and then went back out
before us- think they May have had superiority lol- I dont think the ground crew could cope either. As for other airlines having probs - most of the virgin flights from Manchester, Glasgow and Gatwick on that day into MCO were all on time according to the flight stats website.
Gatwick 11:20 flight departed just over an hour late. Gate allocation was delayed for ages and didn't come up until just before 11am, but once on the plane we were told the delay was due to a baggage container. No mention of Esta issues.. This thread is the first I'd heard of it.

Immigration was horrible though as we were all held in a separate holding room first as the immigration hall was full. One of the immigration team said they'd had over 6000 people through in just over an hour... Maybe the Esta issue was why?
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Old 2 May 16, 04:55 AM  
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Perhaps the failure was between Thomson and the DHS APIS/AQQ infrastructure - that may explain why, apparently, other airlines were not affected.
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Old 2 May 16, 06:16 AM  
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i have email on my phone and also printed copy, ive never been asked for it but another couple of bits of paper are not going to be too much trouble to take with me, I always take printed copies, from car hire, flight tickets and hotels 😀
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Old 2 May 16, 09:20 AM  
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Originally Posted by minnie5 View Post
i have email on my phone and also printed copy, ive never been asked for it but another couple of bits of paper are not going to be too much trouble to take with me, I always take printed copies, from car hire, flight tickets and hotels 😀
I think there is nothing wrong with this approach at all. I am more than happy to have a PDF copy in my email and saved locally on my phone. As someone stated earlier in the thread the advice on whether this is necessary or desirable is ambiguous even within the CBP site itself.

IMHO the disagreements about whether you need an "offline" copy of your ESTA are more to do with individuals trying to prove who knows best rather than what works best for the traveller.

If you want to take a copy, either printed or otherwise, then you should feel free to do so however remember the status will be as of the time you printed it and is not obviously live.
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Old 2 May 16, 09:38 AM  
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Any one can doctor an esta printout so how would the airline know it's real without checking against the US database? Any way the esta says make a copy for you records... not so you can gain entry to the the US. It's just like all those online orders you do which says please print this screen for you records... all can be doctored fairly easily if you wanted to. I just make a note of the number just like I do with my passports.

Edited at 09:41 AM.
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