Sunday, May 22, 2011

Power Outage Strands Delta Passengers at Minneapolis Airport

Delta Airlines was forced to cancel 250 flights after a power outage at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport shut down its computers and about 60 to 80 gates and 4 concourses for more than 9 hours on Saturday.

Initial reports were that Delta issued about 1,000 vouchers for hotel rooms to passengers who were stranded at the airport and could not get booked on other flights. The airline initially said that about 500 passengers actually stayed in hotels overnight, then revised the number to 100. One news report said, "It was impossible to say how many flights were affected, because Delta's computers were down."

As of Sunday morning, electricians said they had isolated the problem and restored power to about half the gates, but the cause of the outage was still unknown.

Xcel Energy, the local utility, said the problem was not on its grid but was internal to the airport's electrical distribution system. But there have been no definitive statements on the cause of the outage.

John Howley
Woodbridge, New Jersey

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