Virgin passengers blue after power trip sparks delay

Thousands of Virgin Australia passengers faced long delays at Melbourne Airport today after a power outage forced staff to manually process passengers during the busy morning peak.

Ten flights were still delayed just after midday after a circuit breaker tripped at the Virgin terminal at 6.30am, disabling telephone lines and computers, including the check-in system.

Virgin spokeswoman Melissa Thomson said the problem was fixed at 9am, however delays were expected to continue until mid afternoon as staff worked to clear the backlog.

Passengers reported long queues at the airport, with some saying they boarded their flights two hours late.

Passenger Bryan Oliver said he was due to fly from Melbourne to Sydney in business class at 7am today, and had to queue up for about an hour to have his ticket re-issued.

However, after receiving his new ticket, he was then told the 7am flight was cancelled.

He was transferred to a different flight but that was delayed and did not take off until 11am.

Mr Oliver said passengers stood in the queue at one point for more than an hour and were given no information.

‘‘No communication, no updates, just them telling us to be quiet and they would start the manual boarding process,’’ he said.

Ms Thomson was unable to say how many passengers were delayed in total, but said the outage occurred during one of Virgin's busiest times.

"We have apologised. We did get flights away by manually processing passengers," she said.

She said Virgin's technical staff were investigating the cause of the outage.