Delta Airlines’ global computer systems went down sometime around 4AM EDT this morning. This comes on the heels of Southwest’s outage less than two weeks ago. Delta frequent flyers are posting on Social Media that updates were originally expected at 6:30. We’re hearing that there will be an update at 7:30AM EDT, but some at ATL are saying 10:30AM at the earliest. Many of the SkyClubs are currently filled to capacity, with some members being turned away due to overcrowding.
Status Updates (Oldest to Newest)
Update – 7:30AM EDT – Delta’s official update – “A power outage in Atlanta, which began at approximately 2:30 a.m. ET, has impacted Delta computer systems and operations worldwide, resulting in flight delays. Large-scale cancellations are expected today. All flights enroute are operating normally. We are aware that flight status systems, including airport screens, are incorrectly showing flights on time. We apologize to customers who are affected by this issue, and our teams are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.”
Update – 7:53AM EDT – The image above shows all air traffic outbound from ATL. On a Monday morning this map should be a sea of yellow planes. (Map created using flightradar24.com) There are some reports coming in saying that regional hubs are starting to come up but ATL is still offline. Some Delta internal systems are up and running, enabling Delta personnel to communicate.
Update – 8:00AM EDT – Due to the outage Delta is offering a travel waiver for anyone traveling August 8 – 12. “A power outage in Atlanta, which began at approximately 2:30 a.m. ET, has impacted Delta computer systems and operations worldwide, resulting in flight delays. Large-scale cancellations are expected today. All flights enroute are operating normally. We are aware that flight status systems, including airport screens, are incorrectly showing flights on time. We apologize to customers who are affected by this issue, and our teams are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.”
There are some scattered reports of Delta boarding some flights to prevent crew time outs and in anticipation of flights resuming.
NOTE: Some news outlets and social media posters are starting to use the word “stranded” in their reports. This is simply not true. Stranded is when you get left on a desert island or an airline closes up customer operations and does not work with its customers. Delta is being very informative and responsive.
Update – 8:41AM EDT – It appears that the systems are coming back up. Delta is saying – “…ground stop has been lifted and limited departures are resuming following a power outage in Atlanta that impacted Delta computer systems and operations worldwide. Cancellations and delays continue.
Customers heading to the airport should expect delays and cancellations. While inquiries are high and wait times are long, our customer service agents are doing everything they can to assist. There may also be some lag time in the display of accurate flight status at delta.com, the Fly Delta App and from Delta representatives on the phone and in airport.”
Social media sources indicate that some planes might be pushing back in isolated cases and passengers are being told that boarding will start “soon”.
Update – 8:47 AM EDT – The first Delta outbound flight has been reported via FlightRadar24.com
Update – 9:05AM EDT – Delta’s online status system is showing “Past Schedule” for these flights from ATL to LGA. Flights with departure times one hour from now are not showing any other information than normal on time departure. Drilling down into individual flights does show status as DELAYED with delay times currently set at 2+ hours.
Good communications work by Delta. This tweet acknowledges that their online systems and apps may be lagging as they come back online.
Update – 9:50AM EDT – The chatter of a possible hack has started to surface. This tweet is unsubstantiated but mentions a “Delta Flight Captain” as a source. It’s certainly possible or it could just be an unfortunate choice of words. We’ll monitor for better information and documented facts.
Update – 10:10AM EDT – Delta flights are starting to show up are the various flight tracking apps and sights.
CBS in DC is reporting that there is no evidence of “a hack or malicious intrusion.”
Update – 10:30AM EDT – It looks like nearly 300 Delta flights are now active according to Flightradar24.com. True cancellations are starting to be show up with figures of ~300 being reported.
Update – 11:00AM EDT – The Washington Post has reported that Georgia Power did not experience a power outage and they believe any power problems were specific to Delta.
“But Georgia Power said the issue had to do with Delta’s own equipment, not a larger power outage. ‘We believe Delta Air Lines experienced an equipment outage; other Georgia Power customers were not affected,’ said John Kraft, spokesperson for the utility. Georgia power has staff on site trying to assist Delta, he said.
‘Our IT team is still looking into the root of the problem,’ said Katherine Sirna, a Delta spokesperson.”
UPDATE – 10:40 a.m. ET – From Delta – “Delta has canceled approximately 300 flights due to a power outage impacting Delta operations systemwide. As of 10:30 a.m. ET, Delta operated 800 of its nearly 6,000 scheduled flights. While systems are improving and flights are resuming, delays and cancellations continue.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also reports “Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft said the issue was a failure overnight of switch gear equipment that cause the outage. He said other Georgia Power customers were not affected because it was an issue with Delta equipment, and said Georgia Power crews were on site working with Delta to repair the equipment.“
Switchgear via IEM ©2106
According to Wikipedia – In an electric power system, switchgear is the combination of electrical disconnect switches, fuses or circuit breakers used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment. Switchgear is used both to de-energize equipment to allow work to be done and to clear faults downstream. This type of equipment is directly linked to the reliability of the electricity supply.
UPDATE – 3:00PM EDT – Delta CEO addresses the outage in a video that can be found on the Delta News Hub.
UPDATE – 5:30PM EDT – Delta is offering $200 travel vouchers to anyone whose flight was canceled or delayed more than 3 hours due to the outage today. That’s an impressive show of customer support! The full details are available in this press release.
We are going to conclude the updates until we have more definitive information about the cause of the system outage or its further effect on travelers. Thanks for following the news along with us #TravelZorks!!
UPDATE – 3:30PM EDT – Tuesday – We have a statement from Delta COO, Gil West, with Delta’s position on the cause of the outage. – “Monday morning a critical power control module at our Technology Command Center malfunctioned, causing a surge to the transformer and a loss of power. The universal power was stabilized and power was restored quickly. But when this happened, critical systems and network equipment didn’t switch over to backups. Other systems did. And now we’re seeing instability in these systems.”
“For example we’re seeing slowness in a system that airport customer service agents use to process check-ins, conduct boarding and dispatch aircraft. Delta agents today are using the original interface we designed for this system while we continue with our resetting efforts.”
The complete statement can be found here:
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