Pandemonium: Atlanta Airport Power Outage Grounds Flights, Traps Travelers; Evacuation Underway

Update: Delta has canceled all remaining Sunday flights ”to allow the operation to best reset for Monday,” it said in a statement on its website. The company now anticipates a near-full schedule Monday in Atlanta ”pending full resumption of power”; adding that some delays and cancellations can be expected. Delta noted that it has canceled approx. 900 mainline and Delta Connection flights Sunday as a result of the outage. Full Delta statement below:

The Atlanta airport lost power Sunday across concourses and terminals affecting all airlines. As a result of the ongoing outage, Delta will cancel its remaining Sunday domestic schedule to allow the operation to reset for Monday. The airline has canceled approximately 900 mainline and Delta Connection flights Sunday as a result of the outage and 48 flights have diverted to alternate airports due to a nationwide groundstop for Atlanta-bound flights.


Pending full resumption of power, Delta anticipates a near-full schedule Monday in Atlanta, though some delays and cancellations can be expected.


Delta continues to deplane the remaining customers from aircraft that have not been able to park at terminal gates that require power to operate. The airline will also work to reunify customers with their luggage once power is restored.


The Atlanta Airport, along with Atlanta Police Department, are restricting the vehicles allowed to the terminal drop-off and pick-up area due to congestion. Delta customers are encouraged to check the status of their flight via the Fly Delta mobile app or before heading to the airport. A travel waiver has been issued for Delta customers flying to, from or through Atlanta allowing customers to make one-time changes to their travel plans. Details are available at

Delta has temporarily embargoed unaccompanied minors from traveling Monday due to the power outage. Unaccompanied minors who already began their travel Sunday may continue.  


A total power outage at the nation's busiest airport traced to “a fire which caused extensive damage in a Georgia Power underground electrical facility” has grounded flights and trapped people inside terminals on Sunday.

Justin L / Instagram

Stranded holiday travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport found themselves facing a travel nightmare as authorities prepared to evacuate dark terminals. Smoke was reported filling the airport's Concourse D terminal, while passengers were forced to sit on the tarmac for hours.

No less than 928 flights have been canceled so far, according to

Georgia Power has issued a statement on the cause "which may have involved a fire which caused extensive damage in a Georgia Power underground electrical facility" and expects to have power restored by midnight.

One woman tweeted "Literal pandemonium at the @ATLairport with power completely out and electric exit doors unable to open. Baggage claim stuck, passengers can go no where!" 

Passengers found themselves plunged into darkness as they struggled to make their way out: 

Power out completely #atlantaairport

A post shared by Diana (@dcanelo) on Dec 17, 2017 at 10:51am PST

US Customs and Border Protection tweeted that it has enacted its diversion plan - meaning all inbound international flights are diverted to other airports: 


Keyser Freddie Sun, 12/17/2017 - 21:54 Permalink

Flying Delta and going anywhere near Atlanta airport have both been on my no-go list for decades... The customs / immigration officers at Atlanta airport are all ignorant retards that deserve neither respect nor a job... My apologies to retards for the comparison... 

In reply to by Freddie

GunnerySgtHartman vega74 Sun, 12/17/2017 - 21:31 Permalink

Having enough backup generator power for an airport the size of this one is likely not practical.  I'm sure that the tower has its own backup power source, but since the site is a major hub, having enough backup power to run the entire airport complex would probably require a permanent on-site power station.  We're talking many megawatts of power here.

In reply to by vega74

Normalcy Bias ebworthen Sun, 12/17/2017 - 20:22 Permalink

I'm an Atlanta Native and know a little bit about how Hartsfield-Corrupt Mayor Airport works (Good luck selling something to the Airport without paying any bribes, e.g.).There's actually a good chance that large Federal sums for Infrastructure Improvement did make it to Hartsfield. However, much like valuables in checked luggage, they were never seen again...

In reply to by ebworthen

Hongcha overbet Sun, 12/17/2017 - 19:58 Permalink

Flying within the continental USA or flying a US airline anywhere or re-entering the USA from anywhere abroad, are experiences I would liken to the continual snap of a cold wet towel across your face.Elsewhere in the world, it is surprisinigly not sucking nearly as much.  In fact, if given the good fortune to fly Singapore air or JAL, with attendants who are hand-picked for their good looks and trained to treat customers well, it is quite pleasant indeed. 

In reply to by overbet

overbet Hongcha Sun, 12/17/2017 - 20:10 Permalink

Japan is worse than USA. I fucking hate going through there. They make you recheck your bags just passing through after youve already done that shit. I ended up getting global entry. Had to do an interview with DHS. FYI they know everything. They brought up an arrest I had before I was 18. If you leave the country regularly its nice. I fly through customs using the kiosk. Traveled with a buddy once he was in customs line for 3-4 hours I was through in 10 minutes. 

In reply to by Hongcha

atlas_crumbles overbet Sun, 12/17/2017 - 21:41 Permalink

I disagree. Haneda and Narita are nice places to change planes at. The pictures of Atlanta look like a ghetto. Its common to go through security when changing planes Internationally. The worst I have seen is in China. Not a word when arriving that you had to get your luggage, go through customs, fill out a immigration paper for transit visa, go through immigration, back up to check-in counter, through security and then immigration again. That was Beijing. Charles De Gaulle in France is a turd hole as well. Right up there with Philly in the U.S. The International in LAX is nice, but the airport is next to a ghetto domestic is filthy. Last time in Seattle the TSA checkpoints were segregated. One TSA checkpoint was all Africans, it looked like a ghetto, another one in a different part of the SEA was Caucasians. lovely. I'll take changing planes in South Korea, Taiwan or Japan when headed that direction anyday.

In reply to by overbet

buttmint overbet Mon, 12/18/2017 - 03:03 Permalink

....overbet+1,000No shit, I just landed at Narita...then transfered airlines and airports, to Haneda. Then flew onwards. I'll have to repeat my steps back to USA.Double the Japan headaches.Haneda is a gorgeous airport, but Japanese customs JSS are outta their minds, worse than Gestapo TSA.I departed USA on 5th December, but I was now at Haneda, SCHLEPPING MY OWN LUGGAGE from Narita to Haneda---a$5 train ride? NO way---how about TWO $30 shuttle bus rides, a ripoff. Because of the dateline---it is now 6th December and JSS determines my boarding pass is VOID. I am usually impressed with JAL, but I'll never route through Japan again. When ine lands at Narita---if you look out your starboard window, you see flashing lights. That would be Fukushima, within 100km, er 62 miles of Tokyo. You bet Tokyo is irradiated. I usually change Asian flights in HK or Inchon. I made a huge fecking mistake routing through Japan. I had some liquids all wrapped and inside double ziploc bags. I cleared USA customs okay---but JSS tossed out kit according to THEIR RULES. All Asian flyers---steer clear of routing through JapLand.

In reply to by overbet

rbianco3 J S Bach Sun, 12/17/2017 - 22:16 Permalink

Georgia, home of Concrete Bridges that incinerate from a crack pipe fire that spread. Airports go dark after electrical fires. We know it's the worst airport in the world with the rudest employees you can find. Going through that city has always meant you have a better than fair chance of being stranded there for several days. Hard not to wonder if Muslims/Antifa/Blacks are taking the civil war hot. Or, if Trump is taking it hot like in California and/or taking them out first. Whites are not welcome in Atlanta, nor are they safe in my opinion.Why? Libbies are royally pissed about tax reform, they have Bernie Sanders, Eric Holder, talking crazy saying civil war if Mueller removed. For some reason they are very angry about the Net Neutrality thing- and do not understand it well enough to guess why.

In reply to by J S Bach