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Travelers should expect delays after Delta system shutdown

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An early morning power outage in Atlanta caused Delta's computer systems and operations to shutdown worldwide. (Photo/Provided)Travelers flying Delta Air Lines today should expect continued cancellations and delays after an early morning power outage caused the airline’s computer systems and operations to shut down worldwide.

All planned flights were grounded after the outage occurred in Atlanta around 2:30 a.m. Airport screens, flight status systems and check-in apps continued to incorrectly show on-time flights, causing confusion for travelers. Any flights en route continued as normal to their destinations, according to the airline.

As of 1 p.m., Delta has canceled 451 flights. The airline has operated 1,679 of its nearly 6,000 scheduled flights today. While systems are improving and flights resuming, thousands of travelers have already missed scheduled flights. The airline said to expect further delays and cancellations. As of noon, three flights at Charleston International had been delayed; none had been canceled.

According to a travel advisory, all rebooked travel must begin no later than Friday, meaning passengers could be stuck in their respective cities throughout the week as the airline plays catch-up.

Delta’s downed system occurred a few weeks after Southwest Airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights following a system outage.

“Customers heading to the airport should expect delays and cancellations,” Delta said in a statement. “While inquiries are high and wait times are long, our customer service agents are doing everything they can to assist. There may also be some lag time in the display of accurate flight status at, the Fly Delta App and from Delta representatives on the phone and in airport.”

Delta has 18 scheduled daily departures and 18 scheduled daily arrivals at Charleston International Airport. The airline flies nonstop from Charleston to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the airline’s hub, as well as LaGuardia Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Delta is the Charleston airport’s largest airline by enplanements, which counts people boarding departing flights. As of June 30, Delta had around 281,000 enplanements in 2016, according to airport spokeswoman Charlene Gunnells in an email.

“We apologize to customers who are affected by this issue, and our teams are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible,” Delta said.

Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119.

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