Delta’s IT systems went down overnight. Delta couldn’t send out flights that had boarded presumably because they couldn’t push flight plans or calculate required fuel. They couldn’t check passengers in for new flights. Customer service lines started snaking around airports.
IT staff everywhere no doubt had their emergency phones ringing and those on site furiously turned the power off and on hoping that a reboot would fix things.
Fortunately there are reports around 6:30am Eastern that some of Delta’s internal systems are already back up. And there are reports of customers being checked in for flights manually.
So far the most significantly affected routes have been US redeyes, and Europe and Asia inbound flights. The morning bank of flights is only just now being delayed, although rumors that flights could restart around 7 a.m. Eastern turned out to be too hopeful and many East Coast departures are now showing 7:45 a.m. departure times which really means that’s their next update time.
Delta could get lucky with the timing of the IT outage happening in the wee hours of morning, if they do bring up systems quickly, and will deserve great credit for that. Odds on this will be a very bad Delta travel day no matter what happens from here.
We can expect Delta to face significant delays throughout the day with aircraft out of position and much of the work to push out flights backed up. And the longer the outage continues, the more than flights tomorrow and even the day after could face second and third order problems as well.
I feel badly for the travelers inconvenienced by this of course. It’s tough to feel badly for Delta, and suspect they could use a dose of humility since it’s pride in their on-time airline operation that leads them to think they’re so good they can treat customers and competitors with disdain.
Update 7:15am Eastern: The IT issues are being attributed to an Atlanta power outage.
A power outage in Atlanta, which began at approximately 2:30 a.m. ET, has impacted Delta computer systems and operations worldwide, resulting in flight delays. Large-scale cancellations are expected today. All flights enroute are operating normally. We are aware that flight status systems, including airport screens, are incorrectly showing flights on time.