Passengers stuck in customs for hours at Bush Intercontinental Airport

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Thousands of furious international passengers tried to catch flights home following a massive baggage blunder at Terminal E at Bush Intercontinental Airport on Sunday.

Traveler Gayle Wilhelm waited in line for two and a half hours and missed her flight home to Charlo, Montana. Now exhausted, she'll spend Sunday in a hotel room. She doesn't know if she'll find a flight out of Houston tomorrow.

"It's a joke in there," Wilhelm said. "Absolutely ridiculous."

Brian Townsend and his girlfriend said it was frightening as groups of frustrated passengers began yelling at each other and verbal fights broke out. He said he waited for four hours.

"The line was ridiculous," Townsend said. "It wrapped around six times. They were all around the belt for baggage and no one knew where the start was or where the finish was."

As for an explanation from the airlines, passengers were told the chaos was the result of too many international flights arriving at the same time.

KPRC 2 has been making calls, trying to speak to officials with both U.S. Customs and with the airport itself as to what went wrong but was unsuccessful.

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