Slight delay for Delta flights from Eastern Iowa Airport
Regional airline uses older system for check in
George C. Ford
CEDAR RAPIDS — Delta Connections, the regional airline connecting Eastern Iowans with Delta Air Lines flights at major hub airports, experienced minor delays Monday at The Eastern Iowa Airport.
Only one of three early Delta Connection flights was delayed about 10 minutes. Customer service representatives used an older computer system to check in passengers and their luggage when a newer system was not available due to a power outage at Delta headquarters in Atlanta that began at 2:38 a.m. Eastern Time.
Nationwide, some 365 flights were scrapped and delays and cancellations continued even as systems come back online, the second-biggest U.S. carrier said Monday on Twitter.
The disarray at Delta marked the second time in less than a month that a system failure forced mass flight cancellations at a large U.S. carrier. Southwest Airlines, the biggest U.S. discount airline, said a disruption July 20 would cost it “tens of millions” of dollars after more than 2,300 flights were canceled.
Delta waived change fees and fare differentials on ticket prices for passengers whose flights were canceled or delayed Monday, according to a statement on its website. Passengers must begin their trip by Thursday.
Delta booked inconvenienced travelers on other airlines in select cases but largely accommodated them on its own flights, a spokesman said.
The likely cause was an “equipment failure at Delta,” a spokesman for electricity provider Georgia Power said.
Whether Delta had an adequate backup system “is certainly a legitimate question,” said Bob Mann, president of aviation consultant R.W. Mann & Co. and a former airline executive.
“Why didn’t the backup systems perform, or what was it about the systems that if they performed, it still didn’t allow the systems to communicate?” Mann asked.
Delta Connections has the second-largest market share in Cedar Rapids, at 25.4 percent, after United Express, with 26.9 percent. A total of 146,927 passengers boarded Delta Connections flights in Cedar Rapids last year.
Delta Connections offers non-stop service between Cedar Rapids and Atlanta, Detroit, and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Bloomberg News added to this story.