Airports, Airlines, Aviation

Delta system meltdown

Today’s Delta system meltdown comes just weeks after the Southwest debacle, that led to the cancellation of more than 2,000 flights across the U.S. Technology problems are to blame in both circumstances.

Delta tweeted earlier today that the Delta system meltdown was due to a power outage, in a series of three tweets. At the time of the tweet (4PM EST), 427 flights were canceled, still operating future flights at a rate of about 25%. The airline also mentioned that, due to the Delta system meltdown, a travel waiver would be in effect in case travelers need to make changes, and in many cases customers saw a $200 travel voucher if they had a delay of more than two hours. You can reach out proactively if you haven’t already been contacted:

Delta system meltdown
Delta system meltdown

Kudos to Delta for effectively using Twitter to communicate up to the second news of the delay, and allow a social media channel to help get folks customer service.

Skift earlier in the morning had first reported that it was an unspecified system error, leading to the grounding of many flights today. We gradually learned more about the Delta system meltdown as the day progressed, and as the cancellations rippeled throughout the travel world. Flightaware tracked more thab 858 cancellations and 7,359 delays today, and that number is only growing.

According to Delta:

Delta has experienced a computer outage that has affected flights scheduled for this morning….Flights awaiting departure are currently delayed. Flights enroute are operating normally. We appreciate your patience.

We’ve gotten information from unreported sources that the reason of the failure is more specific. Uninterrupted power supply issue at Delta caused the system outage – the primary system went down, and when it shifted to the backup supply, it was found that one was broken.

In another post, I may do a root-cause analysis as to why such a failure can occure in a multi-billion dollar industry, and whether or not this Delta system meltdown (riding on the coattails of the Southwest outage) is the harbinger of a global airline technology system availability and reliability epidemic.

Update Sep 04 2016 – According to Skift, Delta Airlines lost more than $100 million due to the Delta systems meltdown last month.

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