Today many passengers find themselves stranded as airlines deal with the effects of a power failure at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. On Sunday at around 1 pm, the power failed due to a fire in an underground electrical facility that provides power to the airport. As a result, more than 1,150 flights were cancelled nationwide. The Atlanta International Airport is the busiest Airport in the world, and it is a major hub for domestic and international flights. The power outage sent disruptions across the country, affecting departing and arriving flights in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston as well as many others. Airlines are struggling to keep up with the effects, and the disruption has affected even flights scheduled for today. Delta Airlines already announced that it would cancel 300 flights scheduled for Monday.
The busiest airport in the world served 104 million people last year, and it is estimated that the power failure in Atlanta affect at least 30,000 people. The problem came at one of the busiest times of the year. Schools are finally on winter break, workers are on break as well, and Christmas is only one week away. Many people are scheduled to travel for the holiday season this week, and many couldn’t last night as many were stranded when Atlanta’s International Airport shut down. The 1,150 flights cancelled accounted for more than 90 percent of all flights cancelled Sunday evening. On a regular Sunday, fewer than 100 flights usually get cancelled. Travel is a highly connected industry. Canceled flights don’t just effect airlines, they have an effect on car rentals, hotels, and restaurants. Power was returned to Atlanta’s International Airport by midnight Sunday evening, but by then, many people had already been stranded with no way to get to where they were traveling to. There has to be a better way to deal with major disruptions like these. Especially when you are dealing with the busiest airport in the world. Major airports like Hartsfield-Jackson, LaGuardia, and LAX serve millions of people each year. They should be prepared to deal with major disruptions so that we don’t see 1,150 flights canceled again in one day.