The outage was solved around 11 PM and the flights were resumed. Even so, around 25 flight delays still occurred, leaving many passengers stranded on the ground. Some flights were cancelled outright.
According to reports, around 5 cancellations and 3 delays still occurred by 11:30 PM.
Passengers were uninformed
According to passengers, the airline company failed to keep them informed. They issued a notice stating that they were working to fix the delays that occurred due to the outage, however, did not speak of how long the problem would persist.
According to a spokesperson from the airport, airlines are completely reliant on computer reservation systems to manage operations.
One passenger, a Stephen Swift, travelling with a young team of volleyball players and his daughter, arrived at the airport around 4:30 PM in order to catch their flight, which was scheduled for boarding at 7:45 PM. Needless to say, he was quite upset with the flight cancellation.
The airline experienced a similar situation in August, last year, which resulted in the cancellation of 2000 flights.
More cancellations and delays
Around 80 flights scheduled for Monday were cancelled, while more cancellations were predicted. However, the outage did not affect international flights. The FAA indicated that the outage was actually an automation error within Delta’s system.
Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian, apologised to the passengers who were affected by these delays and stated that such disruptions weren’t acceptable.
The outage affected passengers at airports outside Minneapolis as well. This included Atlanta, Houston and many other regional airports. Many of the passengers took to the social media to express their frustration.
This was the second disruption in the week, involving a major U.S. airline operator. The first was caused by United Continental Holdings Inc. due to similar reasons. The United disruption also lasted for over an hour. However, it did not lead to as many cancellations.
Even with some of the flights landing on time, passengers were still forced to face delays at the hub airports. To complicate matters, some of the delays and cancellations did not reflect on the company’s systems or even the website.
Delta is the second largest operator in the US, operating around 6000 flights per day during peak seasons. The airline has around 800 aircraft and caters to almost 180 million passengers per year.
The recent outage came at a time when President Trump passed executive orders preventing travellers from 7 specific Muslim countries entering the United States. Though the order was disputed by judges, the issue only made matters worse at airports.
The US has witnessed a series of computer failure related flight delays and cancellations over the last year. The problem has been attributed to outdated systems.
The outage in August caused Delta to lose around $100 million. Southwest had to face a similar situation prior to that after a problem had occurred with its multiple technology systems.