Tens of thousands of air passengers around the world were left stranded after a power outage forced the US airline Delta to suspend all flights. The overnight power failure took place in Atlanta, near Delta’s headquarters, the company said, causing computer systems to crash.The power company that provides Delta’s electricity disputed that explanation in a statement to NBC News on Monday, and an air travel expert described what could be a far more complex problem rooted in the company’s sprawling collection of internal systems and the proliferation of airline mega mergers.
In the statement, Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft said that a piece of electrical equipment “on their (Delta’s) system” was to blame for the outage. Check-in systems, airport screens and even the airline’s website and smartphone apps were affected by the meltdown.
“Our crews responded to the site this morning and we continue to work with the team at Delta,” the statement said. “Other Georgia Power customers were not affected by the issue with Delta’s equipment.” (Citing an ongoing investigation into the cause of the outage, a Delta spokesman declined to comment.)
The Delta spokesman told NBC News that the company does have a backup system, but that after the power loss some of its critical systems and network equipment didn’t switch over to the backup. Some systems have not been upgraded in decades.
Delta’s massive outage stranded tens of thousands of travelers worldwide and will cost the airline millions. If you are one of the people left stranded by Delta’s outage, you have options. The airline is waiving fees, offering refunds and giving out travel vouchers to those who were scheduled to fly on Aug. 8 or Aug. 9.
Flights resumed six hours later but Delta warned of continuing delays as a backlog of passengers was cleared. To be the second largest airline in the United States, they can do better…