Passengers were in the dark at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on the afternoon of December 17, 2017, as a major power outage affected several areas of the airport.
The airport confirmed the outage had occurred in a brief statement posted on Twitter. “A power outage has impacted several areas in the airport. #ATL officials are working to remedy the situation. Additional updates to come,” wrote the airport on Twitter.
The airport had not provided an additional update at about 2:06 p.m. eastern time on December 17. People expressed upset on social media by the lack of information from the airport, with one man writing, “Little more info? You’re not running a regional airport with 4 flights a day.”
Other people reported that they were stuck on escalators. “I’m stuck between escalators with about 100 people and we’re not allowed up or down. Please pick up the pace–people are getting antsy,” reported one passenger, who wrote the comment to the airport’s Twitter page. The same man added,”TSA agents shouting at people to not go up or down the escalators.”
It’s not yet clear why the power went out at the busy airport or when it will go back on. There were reports that flights were grounded, and the outage was widespread. Photos showed people milling around in the dark. What’s the cause? According to WSB-TV, “The FlightAware site reports the airport is currently holding all inbound flights 2:15 p.m. due to an equipment outage.”
One passenger wrote on Twitter, “More info needed @ATLairport – Stuck at gateway center train stop. What is going on? Lots of firetrucks is all we see.” Many people had the same question as this man, who wrote on Twitter: “@ATLairport , sitting in the plane at the gate. Any idea when the power will be restored?” However, authorities had not yet presented a timeline.
11Alive’s Faith Abubey “was in the North Terminal at the time of the outage, and reports that all power is out there. In speaking to staff at the United Airlines desk, she says she was told that the outage was over the entire airport and that flights were grounded,” reported 11Alive.com.
Although the outage was very inconveniencing to a lot of people, some people on social media decided to turn it into a joke. Others didn’t think it was funny at all. “It would be cool if the people stuck waiting on their planes could get some water or food. We’ve been waiting almost an hour to get off the plane already,” wrote one woman on Twitter. Another woman wrote, “That’s terrible! I just got a text from @Delta saying my friend’s connection is scheduled to depart at 2:15… It doesn’t seem like she’d make it to her connection.”