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Freezing rain, computer malfunction cause travel chaos in Montreal, Toronto

Digital writers

Saturday, January 11, 2014, 5:57 PM -

Two of the country's busiest airports were reporting delays Saturday morning, but for two very different reasons. 

Operations were forced to suspend for about three hours at Montreal's Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport due to freezing rain. 

"Operations at Montreal-Trudeau are temporarily suspended due to ice rain,” tweeted the airport authority at 4:30 a.m. 

The freezing rain warning has been lifted for Montreal, but authorities are warning passengers of further delays and cancellations as crews work to reopen the runways.

"Conditions are gradually returning to normal and will continue to do so throughout the day. Thanks for your understanding." the airport wrote on their website Saturday afternoon.

AIRPORT FORECAST: Going away? Be sure to check our Airport Forecast Index before heading out!

Meanwhile, a computer software glitch at Toronto's Pearson International Airport slowed down the check-in process and created long lineups for travellers. 

The long lineups were a result of airline staff having to manually check-in each traveller since the check-in counters were not functioning properly. 

A message was posted to the airport website asking passengers to use web check-in before going to the airport and self-service kiosks at the airport. "All airline counter check in systems are down and passengers may experience some delays. Passengers are encouraged to use web check in before leaving for airport. Extra airline and airport staff are onsite to assist. We apologize for any inconvenience." 

The issue comes just days after the airport partially shut down during an extreme cold snap on Tuesday, stranding thousands of travellers and creating a backlog of passengers who saw delayed or cancelled flights. The GTAA says it is reviewing its response to the deep freeze,which saw 600 flights cancelled Tuesday and another 400 scuttled Wednesday. 

With files from The Canadian Press

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