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Computer glitch causes more problems at Pearson

A passenger sleeps on a bench as long delays affect Toronto's Pearson Airport due the extreme cold on Jan. 7, 2014.

FERNANDO MORALES/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

More winter weather and even a computer glitch are causing another round of delays at Canadian airports.

In the same week that saw massive weather-related delays at Canada's busiest airport, a computer issue caused more long waits for travellers on Saturday.

Toronto Pearson International Airport tweeted at 5:00 a.m. Saturday that a software malfunction occurred with their check-in system.

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Officials say the problem is with the software that airlines use to check in passengers.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority issued a statement Saturday evening, explaining that an outage with their airline check-in system impacted the process at both Terminal One and Three and IBM technicians have been working with the GTAA to solve the problem throughout the day.

"IBM and the GTAA apologize for the inconvenience this has caused to passengers travelling out of Toronto Pearson today," the statement said.

Because the check-in counters are not functioning properly, airline staff are doing it manually, and that is causing slowdowns.

"Air carriers have managed to continue checking-in passengers for their flights," the statement also said.

The airport is also advising passengers to check-in online prior to arriving for their departure.

The Toronto airport authority and the airlines have additional staff on duty.

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GTAA did not indicate when the technical issues will be resolved.

Meanwhile, Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport also experienced service disruptions, with freezing rain forcing the airport to briefly suspend operations on Saturday morning, causing dozens of delays and some cancellations.

Airport crews are working to reopen all the runways.

The airport posted a message on their website, saying: "Conditions are gradually returning to normal and will continue to do so throughout the day. Thanks for your understanding."

These latest delays follow a week that saw long waits for customers at Pearson due to a "ground stop," which halted incoming North American flights because of frigid weather conditions on Tuesday. The stop caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled and created a massive backlog of customers waiting to depart that took until Friday to clear.

The incident raised questions about Pearson's preparation for the cold weather and its decision to call a "ground stop." Howard Eng, CEO of the GTAA, said they would review the process and release an "action plan" to the public, regarding the matter.

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With files from The Canadian Press

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