A computer glitch at Paris’ main Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports hobbled border controls on Saturday, causing long queues for passengers.
“A national breakdown of border police currently affects checkpoints at the departure and arrival of Paris-CDG and Paris-Orly. An extension of the waiting time is to be expected,” Paris Airports tweeted.
It was not immediately clear if other airports or sectors were affected.
Images posted on social media showed large queues of passengers waiting at Paris airport checkpoints, with some sitting on the floor.
By 2:00 pm (1300 GMT), the computer system in question was working again, the interior ministry told AFP.
A woman travelling from Martinique told AFP she had spent nearly two hours in the queue at Orly where “1,500-2,000 people” were not moving at all.
“It’s shameful, people are starting (to wilt), especially parents with children. No one from Paris Airports came to tell us anything,” Anouk, who declined to give their surname, told AFP by telephone.
Travellers then began banging on the glass doors of the eGates, they later reported.
Border police officers then opened them and carried out passport checks manually to ease congestion.
“Everything is being done to make the situation as easy as possible for travellers. Water supplies are being put in place and officers have been deployed to answer travellers’ questions,” a Paris Airports spokesman told AFP.