Monday blues as Delta suffers computer crash
DELTA Airlines scrapped hundreds of flights and delayed many more as it digested the aftermath of a computer meltdown, making for a messy Monday at airports around the world.
Even after the United States carrier lifted its initial flight grounding order about six hours after the computer snafu struck, it warned of continued cancellations and delays, as tens of thousands of passengers worldwide were left stranded.
The carrier blamed the computer problem on a power outage in its hub in Atlanta.
Flights resumed but on a limited basis, and Delta warned the ripple effect of the computer breakdown would drag on.
It has more than 15,000 flights a day along with alliance partners.
"The timing of this problem is particularly bad because Monday morning is one of the busiest times for both airlines and travellers as business travellers begin their work week," said Daniel Baker, FlightAware's CEO.
At Los Angeles, passengers on a flight to New York had to get off their plane and return to the terminal, NBC News reported, while some people slept near departure gates at Las Vegas.
As compensation, Delta offered refunds to travellers whose flights were cancelled or significantly delayed.
People on some routes were allowed to make a one-time change to their travel plans.
Delta announced on Monday evening it was giving US$200 (S$270) travel vouchers in addition to refunding ticket values to customers who were delayed more than three hours or whose flight was cancelled.
Computer outages halting flights are not uncommon.
In May, a glitch affecting Sweden's civil aviation authority radar site grounded flights to and from Stockholm for several hours.
In March, a computer system malfunction forced Japan's All Nippon Airways to cancel more than 100 domestic flights.