Sudden power outage brings Atlanta airport to a standstill

Posted: Updated:

ATLANTA (AP) - A sudden power outage brought the world's busiest airport to a standstill Sunday, grounding scores of flights in Atlanta just days before the start of the Christmas travel rush.

Passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport were left in the dark when the lights suddenly went out in the early afternoon. The blackout halted all outgoing flights, and arriving planes were held on the ground at their point of departure. International flights were being diverted, officials said.

Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft said the utility was working to determine the cause of the outage and restore electricity. He could not estimate when that might happen. No areas outside of the airport were affected by the power loss.

Delta Air Lines, which has its headquarters at the airport, said more than 450 mainline and regional flights were cancelled. The airline encouraged passengers to check on the status of flights via the Fly Delta mobile app or delta.com before heading to the airport.

At Southwest Airlines, about 70 Atlanta departures out of 120 scheduled for Sunday were cancelled, an airline spokesman said in an email.

Airport spokesman Reese McCranie said some emergency power was later restored, but much of the huge facility was still without electricity.

Delta passenger Emilia Duca, 32, was on her way to Wisconsin from Bogota, Colombia, when she got stuck in Atlanta. She said police made passengers who were in the baggage-claim area move to a higher floor. She said restaurants and shops were closed.

"A lot of people are arriving, and no one is going out. No one is saying anything official. We are stuck here," she said. "It's a nightmare."

Mozell Smith, 68, of Atlanta arrived at the airport hours after the electricity went off. He was headed to Las Vegas with a sister and a friend.

"This is terrible. I wish someone would've given us a heads-up before we got to the airport," he said. "I wish there would have been better communication."

American Airlines reported only a handful of diversions and cancellations because the carrier does not use Atlanta as a hub, airline spokeswoman Alexis Aran Coello.

Hartsfield-Jackson, which serves 104 million passengers a year, is the world's busiest airport, a distinction it has held since 1998.

The airport serves an average of 275,000 passengers daily, according to its website. Nearly 2,500 planes arrive and depart each day.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Stolen pumpkin anonymously returned to boy in Lindenhurst

    Stolen pumpkin anonymously returned to boy in Lindenhurst

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 5:56 AM EDT2018-10-17 09:56:52 GMT
    The pumpkin was returned with a note Tuesday night on the family's front stoop in Lindenhurst.The pumpkin was returned with a note Tuesday night on the family's front stoop in Lindenhurst.

    The pumpkin was anonymously returned with a note Tuesday night on the family's front stoop in Lindenhurst.

    The pumpkin was anonymously returned with a note Tuesday night on the family's front stoop in Lindenhurst.

  • Second-place winning Mega Millions ticket sold in Elmont

    Second-place winning Mega Millions ticket sold in Elmont

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 6:47 AM EDT2018-10-17 10:47:14 GMT

    A $1 million winning ticket was sold at Linden News and convenience store on Linden Boulevard in Elmont.

    A $1 million winning ticket was sold at Linden News and convenience store on Linden Boulevard in Elmont.

  • Roosevelt man charged in connection to crash that killed girlfriend

    Roosevelt man charged in connection to crash that killed girlfriend

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 6:46 AM EDT2018-10-17 10:46:44 GMT

    Kevin Reyes, 19, was arraigned Tuesday on manslaughter charges.

    Kevin Reyes, 19, was arraigned Tuesday on manslaughter charges.

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Sights and scenes from the 2018 Oyster Fest

    Sights and scenes from the 2018 Oyster Fest

    Monday, October 15 2018 10:02 AM EDT2018-10-15 14:02:36 GMT

    Sights and scenes from the 2018 Oyster Fest in Oyster Bay on Oct. 13, 2018.

    Sights and scenes from the 2018 Oyster Fest in Oyster Bay on Oct. 13, 2018.

  • Just Married on Long Island

    Just Married on Long Island

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

  • Dog Day Fridays for October 12

    Dog Day Fridays for October 12

    Friday, October 12 2018 6:38 AM EDT2018-10-12 10:38:40 GMT
    Monkey is approximately 2 years old. He a super sweet, loving timid dog and would be best as an only dog. He was found on the side of a road and unable to move due to a broken pelvis. He was starving and had lost much of his hair.Monkey is approximately 2 years old. He a super sweet, loving timid dog and would be best as an only dog. He was found on the side of a road and unable to move due to a broken pelvis. He was starving and had lost much of his hair.

    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. The shelter is located in Island Park. Their phone number is (516) 960-6388. 

    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. The shelter is located in Island Park. Their phone number is (516) 960-6388. 

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."