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September 26, 2018

Delta tech issue grounds planes, tells travelers to check Wednesday flights

by John_A

Delta Air Lines suffered nationwide disruption to its flights on Tuesday evening after its systems suffered what the carrier described as a “technology issue.”

The disruption, which had no effect on Delta’s operations outside of the U.S., began early evening ET and was considered serious enough for the carrier to stop all of its aircraft from departing U.S. airports. About an hour in, Delta flights were given permission to take off from all airports except JFK and LaGuardia in New York, and Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta.

A short while later, the carrier announced it had resolved the issue and confirmed that all flight restrictions had been lifted.

The issue had been made worse by a problem with Delta’s website and Fly Delta app that prevented many of its customers from logging in to check the status of their flight. Delta says its website and app are once again up and running.

Knock-on disruption

In a statement issued by Delta after the incident, it said that despite the flight delays, it had managed to avoid canceling any of its flights.

But it added that the disruption could result in a knock-on effect for some flights on Wednesday morning, though it expected the impact on its schedule to be “minimal.” Nevertheless, it’s advising anyone flying with Delta on Wednesday to check their flight status on delta.com or on the Fly Delta app before they leave for the airport.

The airline, one of the world’s largest and which handles more than 160 million travelers a year, insisted there had been no impact on safety while the glitch was being fixed, and it apologized to its customers for any inconvenience suffered as a result of the ensuing disruption.

As is usual in the case of such incidents, many passengers stuck inside Delta planes that were about to take off vented their frustration on Twitter.

Sittings inside the airplane for 2 hours in NYC. Problems started at 5:45 so why would @delta keep boarding people knowing that planes can’t take off. #delta

— Jolanta T (@jrtibebu) September 26, 2018

Despite the problems, some managed to inject a bit of humor into their complaint:

Delta flights finally in motion. Waiting in a long line of #delta planes at JFK. Literally have been “driving” for 30min. It appears we will be driving the plane to Las Vegas.

— Brittany Finkle (@BrittFinkle) September 26, 2018

It’s not the first time Delta has been hit by technical issues that have led to widespread disruption. In 2017, computer issues that led to a systems outage forced the airline to cancel flights, and a year earlier, a computer meltdown at its hub in Atlanta, Georgia, saw flights canceled and grounded around the world.

And Delta isn’t the only U.S. airline to experience these troublesome issues, with other giants such as American and United having their fair share of incidents to deal with in recent years.

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