The staff at Delta Air Lines experienced some turbulence of their own this morning when their computer system lost power around 2:30 a.m., causing them to cancel more than 650 flights and stranding numerous passengers worldwide.
Unfortunately, without their computer system up and running, operations were greatly affected and many flights therefore cancelled. When the outage first occurred, getting information on the status of flights was difficult for passengers. While it’s an “all hands on deck effort” to fix the problem, according to Delta CEO Ed Bastian, travelers can expect delays and more cancellations until the system is fully restored.
The airline has instituted system-wide waivers available on their website or by speaking to their reservation agents for those who need to modify their travel plans. Passengers whose flights are not cancelled are eligible to make a one-time change to their tickets without a fee, once rebooked and if departing by Friday, August 12.
The world’s second largest airliner’s electric utility in Atlanta revealed the failure was caused by a piece of equipment called a switchgear, which is a combo of fuses, switches and circuit breakers that control electrical equipment. After the aircrafts met specific safety criteria, about 2,340 flights of the 6,000 scheduled flights resumed today.
Bastian assured customers in a released statement that Delta teams are safely and swiftly “working around the clock to restore system capacity”.
In a society where technology seems just as important as breathing, it’s scary to think what repercussions are possible when favorite gadgets or computers become unavailable. Delta’s "turbulence" is just three weeks after Southwest Airlines also cancelled 1,000 flights due to a similar system outage.