Holiday Travel Mess Ahead After 11-Hour Power Outage At Atanta Airport

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One of the heaviest travel weeks of the year began with the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights on Sunday at the world's busiest airport in Atlanta, where a power outage that lasted almost 11 hours left passengers stranded in darkened terminals or in aircraft idling on tarmacs.

There was a fire at one of three Georgia Power's substations at the airport, however, two of those three substations provide power the airport, Reed said.

Most crucially, Delta, which has its headquarters in Atlanta and controls dozens of gates here, said it expected its normal flight schedule to resume Monday afternoon.

A representative of Delta Airlines, which uses the airport as a central hub, stated that "diversions are in progress" for flights that were already in the air and headed to Atlanta.

"I was able to reach out to all family members and give everybody a heads up on what's going on".

Airport personnel, Atlanta Fire and Rescue officials and Georgia Power staff are on the scene to respond and restore service, a spokesman told ABC News.

Hartsfield-Jackson, which serves 104 million passengers a year, is the world's busiest airport, a distinction it has held since 1998.

There are also a number of cancellations at Louisville International Airport and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

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"The airport has a very redundant, very robust system", a Georgia Power spokeswoman said.

An outage was reported around 1:00 p.m. Sunday. The outage left thousands of passengers sitting in the dark on a busy day for holiday travel.

The Georgia Convention Center was opened for people who needed a place to spend the night.

"They had these elderly people, handicapped people lined up in wheelchairs, said stranded passenger Rutia Curry".

"I mean there was 40 or 50 people per the terminal area that were confined to wheelchairs and some that couldn't get through the airport very well, some of them actually couldn't walk and there was no plan at all to get them out of here without any power". Atlanta is Delta's home base from which it operates more than 1,000 departures a day to more than 200 destinations.

Southwest, Atlanta's second largest tenant, has canceled all of its remaining flights into and out of the airport on Sunday. NOW WHAT? Those who had flights affected by the power outage are encouraged to directly contact their airlines for information on re-booking flights.

One bit of good news, according to Mann: Delta has more spare planes and available crews in Atlanta than anywhere else, which will help it to recover.

The outage is believed to have been caused by a fire at an underground Georgia Power facility. "That took time that contributed to the frustration", Reed said. Some said they sat on planes for hours.

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