Delta: Hundreds of flights cancelled after morning power outage

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WINDSOR LOCKS -- The week got off to a nightmarish start for Delta and its passengers.

Delta Air Lines flights were grounded for at least six hours early Monday by a global computer system outage, causing large-scale cancellations and stranding hundreds of thousands of passengers. More than 740 flights nationwide were canceled, and more than 2,400 were delayed.

At 8:40 a.m. ET, Delta said the ground stop had been lifted but that only "limited" departures had resumed. It's expected that flights would be delayed and canceled throughout the day, and they were.

"Customers heading to the airport should expect delays and cancellations," Delta warned.

There were Delta flights scheduled out of Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks Monday morning, which were impacted.

Kennard Ray was stuck at Bradley and tweeted updates. He said the company made a "clutch Dunkin Donuts run" as passengers began boarding delayed flights.

Delta, the world's second largest airline, said the problem was a power outage at its Atlanta hub. The company also said that following the power loss, some critical systems and network equipment didn’t switch over to Delta’s backup systems. Delta’s investigation into the causes is ongoing.

As of 7 p.m., Delta reported it had operated 3,340 of its nearly 6,000 scheduled flights.

Delta, on average, operates about 15,000 daily flights, carrying an average of 550,000 daily passengers during the summer.

Getting information on the status of flights was particularly frustrating for passengers. Delta conceded during the ground stop that it was having trouble providing accurate flight status on airport departure boards, at delta.com, the Fly Delta App and from Delta representatives on the phone.

The airline said if a flight was canceled or delayed more than three hours, passengers will be entitled to compensation.  Customers with questions can also contact Delta's reservations lines at the following:

  • Domestic Reservation Sales
    1-800-221-1212
  • International Reservation Sales
    1-800-241-4141

Even passengers booked on a flights that were not canceled were allowed to a one-time change to their tickets without the normal fee. But they could have to pay the difference in fare for a new flight. They will need to start travel by this Friday to benefit from the lack of a change fee.

The Joseph family from Suffern, New York, arrived at LaGuardia Airport in New York early Monday morning for a flight to Orlando, the start of a vacation to Disney World for their six children.

"Delta is just saying the systems are down and we are going to be late," said Frantzy Joseph, the family's father.

"We're feeling OK. We're excited to go Disneyworld. We just want to catch the flight," said Claudia Joseph, the family's mother.

Passengers on Twitter reported problems -- including the inability to check in or being stuck on the tarmac -- from airports around the world, including San Francisco, Rome and Athens.

"The airline provided passengers with little information," said New Yorker Carly Hayes, who was due to travel from Fiumicino Airport in Rome to New York's JFK, in an Instagram post.

Jackie Watanabe, who was due to travel from Las Vegas to Minneapolis, tweeted that the airline handed out blankets to passengers who wanted to get some sleep on the floor of the terminal.

"I'm not ready to go into camping mode yet, but other passengers are," she said, tweeting a photo of sleeping passengers in Las Vegas.

Sean Carson, who planned to travel from Kona, Hawaii, to Los Angeles, said he had been on a plane for more than four hours. He told CNN the pilot announced that pizza was being delivered.

Reports of delays on social media appeared to have begun around 3 a.m. ET.

Delta's problems come less than three weeks after Southwest Airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights following a system outage.