Atlanta Airport May Have to Pay Delta a Lot of Money for the Power Outage

Dec 20, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Due to a still-undisclosed issue, the Atlanta airport (ATL) power shut down across the entire airport just before 1pm Sunday. It would take power crews over 11 hours to restore power to all sections of the airport. During that time, all outbound flights were cancelled, many inbound aircraft were diverted to nearby airports and some passengers were trapped on aircraft for up to seven hours waiting for stairs.

The City of Atlanta opened the Georgia International Convention Center as a shelter for stranded passengers. And, in a true sign of desperate times, Chick-fil-A even opened on a Sunday to feed stranded passengers.

The social media backlash against the airport was immediate. Passengers and observers alike slammed the busiest airport in the world for not having adequate power backups or emergency plans.

Now, the financial backlash begins.

In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tuesday night, Delta CEO Ed Bastian expressed his dismay and anger at the airport for taking so long for the power to be restored. But, he’s not stopping with just words. Bastain pledged to “seek reimbursement” from the Atlanta airport, Georgia Power or both:

We will certainly be seeking the opportunity to have a conversation, and then seek reimbursement. I don’t know whose responsibility it is between the airport and Georgia Power, but we’re going to have conversations with both of them.

Bastain estimates that the 1,400 Delta flight cancellations caused between $25 to $50 million in lost revenue from the power outage. The AJC notes that this $25-50 million figure “doesn’t include additional costs incurred by Delta” which is “reimbursing passengers for Sunday night hotel stays.”

As the largest airline in Atlanta, Delta depends heavily on the ATL airport — and the airport depends heavily on Delta. It’ll be interesting to see how this relationship is tested by this massive failure.

Featured image by Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.