People flying Delta may have awoken this morning to find out they aren’t flying at all – a massive networked service outage resulting from a power failure in Atlanta, the airline’s home base, has delayed all of today’s current flights and is causing widespread cancellations.
Delta confirms that the outage began at around 2:30 AM ET, and affected its computer systems across the globe. Flights that were currently in the air at that time will continue to operate as normal, the airline said in a statement, but systems might be showing upcoming flights as incorrectly still on time.
Regarding any potential resolution, Delta has only said that it’s “working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible,” but has no timeline for a fix. It’s also now offering a waiver for anyone with travel booked on Delta between August 8 and August 12, suggesting it anticipates travel over the next few days to be impacted as well.
The power outage in Atlanta has affected flight status displays, the carrier’s website, and both mobile and on-the-ground airport software tools, according to Bloomberg. The media outlet also points out that it’s the second-largest disruption at a U.S. airline this month, following Southwest’s recent computer failure that led to the cancellation of over 1,000 flights.
Delta had around 3,300 flights booked for today, sot he affected group is potentially much larger. But what these incidents highlight most of all is that commercial airline tech still lags a lot of other industries, and can be brought low with incidents that would hardly bruise dedicated cloud service companies like Google and Amazon.
The failure here is on both the flight side, and the information side, meaning it’s difficult even to properly make affected customers aware they’ll be delayed, and it’s a strong argument in a series of recent computer-related airline flubs that modernization in the industry’s systems is long overdue.
Update 6:41 AM PT: Delta now says “limited departures” are resuming following the outage, though “cancellations and delays continue.”