Atlanta airport power outage impacts Chicago flights

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's airports saw flights delays and cancellations Sunday due to a massive power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the nation's busiest airport.

The busy holiday travel season has just started and some travelers headed to Atlanta were stuck in at both O'Hare and Midway airports as the power outage left the entire Atlanta airport without electricity.

"Got here at 2:30, delayed twice, then it was cancelled," said Melissa Smith, who was stranded at O'Hare.

The impact of the airport shutdown is expected to continue Tuesday and possibly through the week and holidays. Delta has canceled 300 flights for Tuesday.

At Midway, there were many others.

Southwest canceled all of its flights in and out of Atlanta and at least a dozen flights that link Midway and Atlanta were impacted. Diverted flights returned to Midway.

"I had to adjust my work schedule ... hoping I don't have to cancel clients for early Tuesday morning," said traveler Ryan Straut.

The Atlanta power outage was apparently caused by a large fire at the substation that supplies power.

"Because of the intensity of the heat, it took approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours to make sure the fire was adequately contained," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who held a press conference Sunday night.

Sunday evening, some flights from Atlanta finally left and some of the first passengers to arrive in Chicago were grateful to finally be off the airplane.

"The problem was we were already inside the plane, so we couldn't get off, but they gave us snacks so we made it," said Arthur Mlenze, a Delta passenger

"I'm happy to be home. I'm happy to be back in my own bed tonight," said passenger Joe Fanella.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.