Delta holds back all domestic flights due to tech snag

Published on : Wednesday, September 26, 2018

indexDelta Airlines was forced to temporarily put all its departing domestic flights on hold on Tuesday night, causing major disruptions for travellers across the country.

The company’s official Twitter account began responding to customers experiencing delays as early as 6:50 p.m., explaining that it was having issues with its computer tracking systems. Around 8:30 p.m., the airline issued a brief statement, acknowledging the problem and apologising.

Just before 9:20 p.m., Delta announced that all of its information technology systems had been restored and “all ground stops have been lifted.” The company referred to the problem as “a technology issue” that “briefly affected some of our systems this evening.” The company said the ground stop lasted about an hour and that delays on Wednesday morning were expected to be minimal.

But during the problems on Tuesday night, people railed on Twitter against the company — which serves more than 180 million customers each year — demanding to know why they could not book flights, print tickets or board their planes.

In Las Vegas, restless fliers said they were waiting in long lines to book alternative flights and dealing with delays that were dragging on throughout Tuesday night. In Detroit, one customer claimed that a plane failure combined with the widespread problems led to her being stuck at the airport for nine hours. And in Atlanta, Delta’s headquarters and largest hub, a line of idle planes stretched across the runway, carrying passengers who were unable to disembark.

The temporary ground stop affected all so-called “mainline” Delta domestic flights, but not those operated for Delta by smaller contract airlines. It also did not affect flights that had taken off.

While Delta has not faced a recent public relations fiasco that escalated to level of some recently suffered by United Airlines, the company has still experienced its share of turbulence.

“How about a pickup truck and a ladder?” one customer wrote on Facebook. “Get us off this plane.”

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