A malfunctioning power control module at the Delta Airlines technology center in Atlanta has destroyed the travel plans of tens of thousands of people around the world — and it’s still happening.
The module went offline for just six hours starting at 2:30 am on Monday, but more than 1,600 flights have been cancelled since then.
Delta’s global computer system shut down, stranding thousands of passengers in various cities around the world and sending inaccurate information to the few airport screens that were still lit. No boarding passes would print, so agents were writing them out by hand in the few airports where Delta personnel tried to continue operations. Many of the travelers who were left hanging — and more — continue to be stranded 48 hours later.
Backup systems that were supposed to provide a safety net in exactly such a situation failed to do so, and it’s not clear why.
Worse, more delays and cancellations are still expected, according to Delta officials, although the carrier hopes to resume regular operations by Wednesday afternoon.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a second video posted to the airline’s website Tuesday that by Monday, the airline had already cancelled 800 flights; triple the number of Delta cancellations in all of 2015.
“This isn’t the qualify of service, the reliability that you’ve come to expect from Delta Air Lines,” Bastian said. “We’re very sorry, I’m personally very sorry.”