Delta Air Lines Offers Refunds for Flight Cancellations

Delta Air Lines Offers Refunds for Flight CancellationsDelta Air Lines Offers Refunds for Flight Cancellations

After canceling 900 flights due to a power shortage, Delta Air Lines faces big refund payments and considerable embarrassment.

Some gate agents even wrote out boarding passes by hand and a dot-matrix printer reappeared in Tokyo. In addition to the canceled flights, Delta had 2,600 other flights delayed after a power outage on Monday at its Atlanta headquarters that led to a crash in many computer systems.

The power outage began at 2:30 a.m. (0630 GMT). Of the 6,000 scheduled flights to have taken off by that time, Delta said it operated 3,340. Delta runs about 15,000 flights a day along with its alliance partners, AP reported.

Delta said it was still working to accommodate stranded passengers during the busy summer vacation season. In July, the average Delta flight was 87% full.

The scale of the outage amounted to a very costly incident for the company. In a video apology, CEO Ed Bastian offered refunds and $200 in travel vouchers to people whose flights had been canceled or delayed by at least three hours. He said that travelers on some routes could also make a one-time change to the ticket without paying the company’s usual change fee of $200 for domestic flights and up to $500 for international flights.

“As I’m sure you can appreciate, it’s an all hands on deck effort,” he said. “I apologize for the challenges this has created for you with your travel experience.”

Delta’s flight-status updates were not working either, which meant that many passengers only learned about the flight problems when they arrived at the airport.

Delta Spokesman Trebor Banstetter said there were no indications of hacking. A spokesman for Georgia Power said the company believes a failure of Delta equipment caused the airline’s power outage.

Outages of this kind are not uncommon. In July, Southwest Airlines canceled over 2,000 flights over four days after an outage that it blamed on a faulty network router. United Airlines has also suffered a series of massive IT meltdown after merging with Continental Airlines.