Pandemonium: Atlanta Airport Power Outage Grounds Flights, Traps Travelers; Evacuation Underway
Update: Delta has canceled all remaining Sunday flights ”to allow the operation to best reset for Monday,” it said in a statement on its website. The company now anticipates a near-full schedule Monday in Atlanta ”pending full resumption of power”; adding that some delays and cancellations can be expected. Delta noted that it has canceled approx. 900 mainline and Delta Connection flights Sunday as a result of the outage. Full Delta statement below:
The Atlanta airport lost power Sunday across concourses and terminals affecting all airlines. As a result of the ongoing outage, Delta will cancel its remaining Sunday domestic schedule to allow the operation to reset for Monday. The airline has canceled approximately 900 mainline and Delta Connection flights Sunday as a result of the outage and 48 flights have diverted to alternate airports due to a nationwide groundstop for Atlanta-bound flights.
Pending full resumption of power, Delta anticipates a near-full schedule Monday in Atlanta, though some delays and cancellations can be expected.
Delta continues to deplane the remaining customers from aircraft that have not been able to park at terminal gates that require power to operate. The airline will also work to reunify customers with their luggage once power is restored.
The Atlanta Airport, along with Atlanta Police Department, are restricting the vehicles allowed to the terminal drop-off and pick-up area due to congestion. Delta customers are encouraged to check the status of their flight via the Fly Delta mobile app or delta.com before heading to the airport. A travel waiver has been issued for Delta customers flying to, from or through Atlanta allowing customers to make one-time changes to their travel plans. Details are available at delta.com.
Delta has temporarily embargoed unaccompanied minors from traveling Monday due to the power outage. Unaccompanied minors who already began their travel Sunday may continue.
A total power outage at the nation’s busiest airport traced to “a fire which caused extensive damage in a Georgia Power underground electrical facility” has grounded flights and trapped people inside terminals on Sunday.
Justin L / Instagram
Stranded holiday travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport found themselves facing a travel nightmare as authorities prepared to evacuate dark terminals. Smoke was reported filling the airport’s Concourse D terminal, while passengers were forced to sit on the tarmac for hours.
— Laurie Simon (@laurieMsimon) December 17, 2017
Please come evacuate us off of this plane! It’s been 3 hours! https://t.co/QNKlbhuALE
— Alyssa Rhudy (@marhudy) December 17, 2017
No less than 928 flights have been canceled so far, according to FlightAware.com
Some planes moving around us, but pilot says they are just being repositioned because there are about 80 more planes in route already that will need to land and wait for gates. This is just the beginning! Everything will be a nightmare once we deplane #Help
— rgtex (@b_a_leadernow) December 17, 2017
Georgia Power has issued a statement on the cause “which may have involved a fire which caused extensive damage in a Georgia Power underground electrical facility” and expects to have power restored by midnight.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 18, 2017
One woman tweeted “Literal pandemonium at the @ATLairport with power completely out and electric exit doors unable to open. Baggage claim stuck, passengers can go no where!”
Literal pandemonium at the @ATLairport with power completely out and electric exit doors unable to open. Baggage claim stuck, passengers can go no where! Which means traffic can’t either. GBI and other law enforcement on site now. Talk about delays! #atlanta
— Ciara Leilani (@CiaraLeilani) December 17, 2017
Power went out in the entire ATL airport
— Anna Green (@thevasocialite) December 17, 2017
— Ashley Miller (@ashleyemiller14) December 17, 2017
Passengers found themselves plunged into darkness as they struggled to make their way out:
— Tim Harrison (@T_Harri26) December 17, 2017
US Customs and Border Protection tweeted that it has enacted its diversion plan – meaning all inbound international flights are diverted to other airports:
— CBP Southeast (@CBPSoutheast) December 17, 2017
Burning question: How does the busiest airport in the world NOT have a backup generator? And if they do, why wouldn’t there be steps in place to make sure it works?#ATL #ATLairport #poweroutage #Atlanta
— Andrew Kozak (@AndrewKozakTV) December 17, 2017