Last updated: 09:33 AM ET, Fri May 13 2016

Glitch Strands 3,000 Pieces of Luggage in Phoenix Airport Parking Lot

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | May 13, 2016

Glitch Strands 3,000 Pieces of Luggage in Phoenix Airport Parking Lot

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

On Thursday, an airport in Phoenix was the site of a major Transportation Security Administration automated luggage screening system glitch, as more than 3,000 bags were left behind at the facility.

According to, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport began suffering from "unprecedented technical issues" with the luggage screening system at around 6:45 a.m. local time, leaving over 3,000 bags sitting in the airport’s parking lot.

Several airlines impacted by the system glitch drove the stranded luggage to airports in Los Angeles and San Diego, at which point each bag was flown to its respective destination. Southwest Airlines sent 1,500 bags to Las Vegas by truck, where they were screened and sent to their owners.

Officials at the Phoenix airport reported the baggage glitch did not result in any flight delays, and by Thursday evening, the system was fully operational once again. “We will continue testing the system throughout the night in preparation for tomorrow's scheduled operations,” TSA said in a statement.

The TSA luggage screening system glitch at the Phoenix airport came on the same day the TSA faced criticism at a Congressional hearing for long lines and the poor treatment of employees.

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