For tens of thousands of Delta passengers, Monday morning came with canceled flights or being stranded in airports around the globe. Delta Airlines (DAL) brought their flight departures to a grinding halt in response to a computer outage at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
Delta cited a power outage beginning at approximately 2:30 am E.T. as the issue effecting their computer systems and operations, which led to the grounding of all flights (flights already en route were not affected). The power outage, however, appears to be localized to Delta’s own equipment. Power utility Georgia Power (GPE-A) stated through a spokesperson, “other Georgia Power customers were not affected”. The Delta IT team is still trying to identify the root of the problem.
By 6:55 am E.T., Delta had warned passengers to expect large-scale flight cancellations for the day. By 7:30 am E.T., the air carrier had issued a waiver providing refunds for passengers whose flights were cancelled or significantly delayed, as well as an offer for one-time fee-less changes to flights that were not cancelled, provided passengers rebook and travel on or before August 12, 2016. A little over an hour later, the airline lifted the ground stop and resumed with some departures, but passengers were advised to still prepare for continuing cancellations and delays.
Affected travelers took to social media to ask the world’s third largest airline for help with complicated travel plans, while customers who chose to call Delta’s customer service faced wait times of 30 minutes or longer. Further frustrating fliers, as Delta continued to grapple with computer issues throughout the morning, accurate flight information was unavailable on Delta’s website and app, as well as on airport monitors and through Delta agents.
In an update, at 1:30 pm E.T., Delta advised that 451 flights had been cancelled in relation to the power outage so far. Delta CEO Ed Bastian appeared in an apology video on the company’s website.
“I apologize for the challenges this has created for you with your travel experience,” Bastian said “The Delta team is working very, very hard to restore and get these systems back as quickly as possible.”
Delta isn’t the only airline that has been massively affected by computer issues. Last month Southwest Airlines (LUV) had to cancel 2,300 flights after a single router failed at their data center at Love Field. The disruption would come at a cost of tens of millions of dollars for the airline.
This year Delta ranked second in the J.D. Power North American Airline Satisfaction Survey for traditional carriers, and in May, Delta had the fewest cancellations and ranked third for punctuality. Southwest Airlines also ranked second in the J.D. Power survey but in the category of low-cost carriers. Alaska Airlines received first for traditional carriers and JetBlue first for low-cost.