More Airlines Issued Travel Waivers Due to Atlanta Airport Power Outage December 17, 2017

A power outage brought operations at the international airport which serves the greater Atlanta metropolitan area to a complete standstill earlier today, wreaking havoc by stranding passengers aboard airplanes and within areas of the airport — and late word from Georgia Power literally moments ago is that electrical power is expected to be restored as soon as midnight

…which means long lines at rental car counter and possibly scarce vacancies at hotel properties located in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

More Airlines Issued Travel Waivers Due to Atlanta Airport Power Outage December 17, 2017

The official statement from Georgia Power is that the issue may have involved a fire which caused extensive damage in an underground electrical facility operated by Georgia Power:

The fire was safely extinguished by fire crews before Georgia Power could enter the area to assess damage and begin repairs. The event impacted not only the underground facilities, but also substations serving the Airport and, while the cause is not yet known, Georgia Power’s system responded by isolating areas where equipment wasn’t operating correctly to ensure safety and minimize damage. No personnel or passengers were in danger at any time.

Georgia Power has many redundant systems in place to ensure reliability for the Airport and its millions of travelers — power outages affecting the Airport are very rare.

That means that the problem will have occurred for at least eleven consecutive hours during one of the busiest travel periods of the year due to the holiday season — and the problems rippled throughout the rest of the commercial aviation system in the United States, causing disruption for tens of thousands of passengers.

The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States issued a ground stop for flights headed to the airport earlier today due to an electrical power outage which affected the terminals — and although the control tower is able to be operated as normal, departures are currently delayed because airport equipment in the terminals is not working.

A message at the official Internet web site of the airport states that:

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a ground stop for flights headed to ATL at this time, and many flights inbound to Atlanta are being diverted. ATL recommends passengers, employees and stakeholders follow the Airport’s Twitter @ATLAirport feed for more information. Passengers are also directed to follow their individual airlines’ social media channels for flight information.

Please refer to this article for a sampling of reactions by passengers both aboard airplanes and in the airport itself — as well as this discussion on FlyerTalk, which has grown quickly and chronicles the travails of passengers attempting to negotiate this mess.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

Hundreds of flights have already been canceled for the day, which prompted the issuance of travel waivers by additional airlines.

If you are traveling to or from Atlanta, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to the electrical power outage which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are six airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this electrical power outage:

  • Delta Air Lines has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017 through Monday, December 18, 2017; and Thursday, December 21, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017 through Monday, December 18, 2017; and Thursday, December 21, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017; and Sunday, December 31, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017; and Tuesday, December 19, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017 through Monday, December 18, 2017; and Monday, January 1, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Spirit Airlines has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017 through Monday, December 18, 2017; and Thursday, December 21, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Summary

Southwest Airlines has already canceled all remaining flights for the rest of the day today.

A lot of important questions need to be answered to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future, as countless passengers consider this meltdown inexcusable and unacceptable — no matter what are the reasons or sources, which still have not been officially revealed to the public as of the time this article was written…

…but in the meantime — as hundreds of flights have already been canceled as a result of this electrical power outage and people are starting to be unloaded from airplanes and evacuated from the airport — do not be surprised if more airlines issue travel waivers. For example, American Airlines has not yet issued a travel waiver…

 Photograph ©2011 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “More Airlines Issued Travel Waivers Due to Atlanta Airport Power Outage December 17, 2017”

  1. colleen says:

    …and no f&b services for those stranded there? Lights in restrooms? Oh wow.

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