My Savvy Traveller

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Atlanta: Massive Power Outage at World’s Busiest Airport

LATEST UPDATE AS OF 01:00 MONDAY: ATL AIRPORT - Power has been restored on all concourses. 5,000+ meals are being delivered to passengers. Trains will be operational soon.

LATEST UPDATE AS OF 22:00ET: DELTA: Customers scheduled to traverse Atlanta Monday are encouraged to check their flight status as approximately 300 flights will be cancelled due to Sunday’s @ATLairport power outage affecting all airlines there.


A massive power outage struck Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Sunday afternoon, forcing cancellations of outgoing flights and an in-bound FAA groundstop for ATL-bound flights.

Incoming international flights were being diverted to other airports. Some passengers said on social media that they’d been trapped as many as five hours on aircraft which had landed but could not access air bridges. Food and other services in the airport terminals were also impacted.

Georgia Power, which supplies electricity to the airport, said in a statement that a fire at a nearby underground facility caused the outage.

The disruption is expected to hit Delta, which uses ATL as its hub, particularly hard during one of the busiest travel periods of the year. On Sunday evening the airline announced a travel waiver for all passengers flying to, from or through ATL on December 17-18. Also Sunday evening the airline announced cancellation of all of its remaining flights for the day.

My Savvy Travellers expects serious disruptions throughout the Delta network well into next week since aircraft and crews will be out of synchronization. Check your travel insurance policies for eligibility for coverage. As many flights are fully-booked consider using alternative modes of transportation. Alternate airports include: Nashville (250 miles), Charlotte, N.C (245 miles), Jacksonville (345 miles) and Savannah/Hilton Head Intl. Airport (250 miles away).

Amtrak from Atlanta has direct connections to Winston-Salem, N.C., Washington, D.C., the NorthEast corridor, New Orleans, Houston and beyond.  

The MARTA train service connecting ATL with the city remains operational. Passengers are strongly encouraged to check the airport website before heading to ATL.

Many credit cards offer travel insurance coverage as long as you’ve purchased your ticket using an eligible card.