Delta resumes some service after hours of global outage
Delta Air Lines cancelled around 300 flights yesterday after its computer systems crashed worldwide, stranding thousands of passengers on a busy travel day.
One of the world's largest airlines said that only 800 of nearly 6,000 scheduled flights were operational.
The flight tracking site FlightStats Inc said that there were delays on more than 1,000 Delta flights before noon.
About six hours into the outage, limited flights had resumed but widespread delays and cancellations were ongoing.
A power outage at an Atlanta facility at around 2:30 a.m. local time initiated a cascading meltdown, according to the airline, which is also based in Atlanta.
A spokesman for Georgia Power told The Associated Press that the company believes the failure of Delta equipment caused the airline's power outage. He said no other customers lost power.
Many passengers were frustrated that they received no notice of a global disruption, discovering that they were stranded only after making it through security and seeing other passengers sleeping on the floor.
In Richmond, Virginia, Delta gate agents were writing out boarding passes by hand. In Tokyo, a dot-matrix printer was resurrected to keep track of passengers on a flight to Shanghai.
"Not only are their flights delayed, but in the case of Delta, the website and other places are all saying that the flights are on time because the airline has been so crippled from a technical standpoint," said Daniel Baker, CEO of tracking service FlightAware.com.
In Las Vegas, stranded passengers were sleeping on the floor, covered in red blankets. When boarding finally began for a Minneapolis flight the first to take off a Delta worker urged people to find other travellers who had wandered away from the gate area, or who might be sleeping off the delays.
Word of the extensive breakdown began to spread after the airline used a Twitter account to notify customers that its IT systems were down "everywhere". Technological issues extended even to the company's website.