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Chaos as power outage at Atlanta airport strands thousands

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is the hardest hit airline and an aviation consultant said it likely will be Dec. 19 before Delta's operations return to normal


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ATLANTA—Airport operations were resuming Monday morning in Atlanta, a day after a crippling power outage left thousands stranded.

The ticketing and baggage areas were a bit backed up, but security lines were moving quickly. Most travellers were patient as the world’s busiest airport recovered from the outage.

Georgia Power said a fire in an underground electrical facility caused a sudden power outage around 1 p.m. Sunday. That brought the airport to a standstill and grounded more than a thousand flights.

The utility thanked people for their patience in a tweet Monday morning and said all essential services were restored and that an investigation into the cause of the outage was ongoing.

However, thick fog blanketed Atlanta on Monday morning and authorities said that could lead to additional flight delays a day after a power outage crippled the world’s busiest airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration tweeted that Atlanta was among the airports where weather conditions might lead to air traffic delays Monday.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is the hardest hit airline. In a tweet, the airline urged travellers to use its mobile app or website for booking assistance and updated flight status. Delta was also allowing people travelling to, from or through Atlanta through Tuesday to make a one-time change for no fee.

Robert Mann, an aviation consultant and former American Airlines executive, said it likely will be Tuesday before Delta’s operations return to normal, and for passengers “it could be most of the week” because there aren’t many open seats on other flights in the last week before Christmas.


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