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Delta’s computer woes hamper Columbia travelers

Transportation
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A computer outage hit Delta Airlines today, forcing cancelations and flight delays across the carrier’s system, including its operations at Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

“This morning, everything was canceled or delayed,” said Dan Mann, executive director of the Columbia airport, which handles more than two dozen Delta departures and arrivals daily.

Delta reported that a power outage at its home base in Atlanta, which began at approximately 2:30 this morning, impacted the company’s computer systems. All flights en route to airports were operating normally, but flight status systems, including airport screens, were incorrectly showing flights as being on time, the company said.

A computer outage caused delays and cancelations across Delta's system on Monday. (Photo/Provided)By about 8:40 a.m., Delta’s computer system was “back up and running,” Mann said.

Delta advised travelers to frequently check their flight status and that delays and cancelations were possible.

“There may also be some lag time in the display of accurate flight status at delta.com, the Fly Delta App and from Delta representatives on the phone and in airport,” the company said in a press release. “We apologize to customers who are affected by this issue, and our teams are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.”

At 1 p.m., Delta reported it had canceled 427 flights due to a power outage, while operating about 1,590 of its nearly 6,000 scheduled flights so far today.

Delta is the dominant carrier in the Columbia market. Through June, more than 116,200 passengers, or 45% of the total market, had boarded Delta flights at Columbia, according to airports stats.

Mann said there’s little airport operators can do to accommodate frustrated travelers “other than make their airport stay as comfortable as possible,” providing snacks and drinks as they wait for their flights.

As far as booking another flight, Mann said that could be a challenge because Columbia’s load factor is very high, so there are few open seats on other carriers for passengers to buy.

As the result of today’s computer woes, Delta announced that travel waiver is in effect. For more information about the waiver, click here.

Reach Chuck Crumbo at 803-726-7542.

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