A NATIONWIDE Virgin Airlines check-in system meltdown caused flight delays across Australia and delivered a final blow to AFL grand final losers the Adelaide Crows, stranding its players and supporters in Melbourne.

Delays were forecast for the rest of the afternoon for all Virgin flights, with the airline attempting to check in all passengers manually.

About 3.30pm, Optus had reportedly fixed the "technical issue" which had caused the system outage to the Virgin Australia check-in system, but the huge queues were expected to take some time to be dealt with.

In Melbourne, Crows players and supporters eager to get back to Adelaide after yesterday's crushing grand final loss to Richmond saw the delay as adding insult to injury.

As queues snaked out the door at Melbourne Airport, the Crows' family day had started at Adelaide Oval at 1pm, but without grand final player in sight.

Just after 2pm, the Crows tweeted they had finally boarded, and should be back among the faithful by 4pm.

Meanwhile, NRL fans hoping to make a last minute trip to Sydney for tonight's NRL Grand Final were also in limbo thanks to the flight delays.

A Virgin flight from Townsville, originally due to land in Sydney before 4pm was delayed until about 4.30pm, leaving fans only hours to find their accommodation and hotfoot it out to Homebush.

Andrew 'Cosi' Costello, a Crows fan, and host of Channel Nine Adelaide's South Aussie with Cosi, was among those stuck in the queue at Melbourne airport

"We rocked up as normal and got to the front of the check-in queue and it was access denied," he said.

"They told us it was a nationwide computer system problem and that every single Virgin plane around the country is grounded.

"There's a lot of Crows fans but it's hard to pick them today because no-one's wearing their merchandise. All Crows fans have gone low today.

"All of the Crows players as well are stuck in the system - they're all sitting in the Virgin lounge and they can't get on their flight. They're meant to be back at the family day in Adelaide so it's looking like they might struggle to make an appearance.

"We could be delayed for hours. There's well over 1000 people in the line-up here at the airport trying to check-in. Everyone's just lounging around.

The lengthy queue at Melbourne airport.
The lengthy queue at Melbourne airport. Andrew 'Cosi' Costello

"The mood's pretty good actually. No one's really going off or anything. A few people are getting a bit hungry so they're knocking back a bit of KFC. This is nothing a three-piece feed won't fix."

Meanwhile, Virgin was laying the blame squarely at the feet of Optus, saying an Optus technical issue was responsible for the disruption.

Most flights with Virgin in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane were delayed.

"We are manually checking passengers in and therefore there will be delays to flights today. We recommend that anyone who is due to fly with us this afternoon allow extra time for check-in at the airport," the company said in a statement.

We are currently experiencing a disruption to our check-in systems due to an Optus technical issue. Please see here for further... 1/2

- Virgin Australia (@VirginAustralia) October 1, 2017


...information: https://t.co/ZPuZQtL48z 2/2

- Virgin Australia (@VirginAustralia) October 1, 2017

This is the latest technical fault to plague Australian airlines after airports around the world were thrown into chaos last week.

News Corp Australia

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