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December 18, 2017

How the Atlanta airport power outage could hurt Philly travelers

Just a week before Christmas, the busiest airport in the world, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, faced a lengthy power outage that led to the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights, including several in and out of Philadelphia.

Though the power in Atlanta finally started to return late Sunday night, after about 11 hours of darkness for travelers both in the airport or sitting on the tarmac after an underground electrical facility caught fire, the Philadelphia International Airport tweeted news of flights still delayed or canceled here Monday morning due to the  outage.


A reported 20 flights from Philadelphia to Atlanta were canceled Sunday night.

According to NBC10, the effects of the power outage will last for days, hurting Delta Air Lines the most. With its largest hub in Atlanta, Delta may not be running normally until Tuesday, though it could continue to cause headaches for people waiting for a flight since many flights will be already packed with holiday travelers – landing an available seat could be that much more difficult.

Delta’s presence in Atlanta is what helps make it the world’s busiest airport, a distinction it has held since 1998. Additionally, a reported 80 percent of the U.S. population is within two hours flight distance from the hub, and it serves as a major connecting airport for longer voyages. So, if your holiday plans include a stopover in Atlanta, you could be at risk of delays.

NBC10 noted that when Atlanta flights were grounded earlier this year during an April storm, it took Delta five days and 4,000 canceled flights to get up and running. Like now, travelers during the April delays faced limited open seats in a busy travel season.

So far American Airlines and Delta have canceled some Monday morning flights from Philadelphia to Atlanta. Updates on delays and cancellations are available at FlightAware.