On Sunday, at roughly 1 p.m. local time, ATL's Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (a.k.a. the busiest airport in the world) completely shutdown after the power abruptly crapped out. For those wondering what that would look like, Atlanta's WSB-TV tweeted out footage of airport employees trying to navigate through utter darkness with nothing but flashlights at their disposal:
Not surprisingly the blackout has boned travel to and from Atlanta, as all flights scheduled to do just that have been grounded until the problem's fixed. As for flights that were already in the air, they have been diverted to different airports.
Sounds like a real headache.
Georgia Power, the utility company that keeps the airport's lights on under normal circumstances, is currently working on the issue and expects it to be corrected by midnight. That company further stated their belief that the massive inconvenience was caused by a fire that inflicted serious damage on their underground electrical facilities.
The airline that has been smacked hardest by this fiasco is Delta Air Lines, as that brand uses Hartsfield-Jackson as their home base. So far they've canceled 450 of their flights, according to Business Insider. They also released a statement that seems especially relevant if you're traveling to or from Atlanta today:
"A power outage at the Atlanta Airport affecting all concourses and terminal buildings started at approximately 1 p.m. ET Sunday and is ongoing. Due to the power outage, more than 450 Delta mainline and regional flights have been canceled today. A ground stop is in effect for all flights into the airport, resulting in flight diversions. Delta is working to deplane customers from aircraft that have not been able to park at a gate due to the outage.
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."
As for other airlines, WSB-TV reports that passengers using JetBlue, United, Southwest, and American passengers are similarly screwed:
Each of those companies has responded by offering passengers for those flights travel waivers so they can rebook. According to FlightAware.com, the total number of flights impacted by today's events are so high that the number literally cuts off on my browser. Business Insider reported that it was 776 canceled flights, in addition to 525 flight delays, though both numbers have surely gone up since the publishing of that report.