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Delta flights finally depart RIC after network outage

Posted at 1:31 PM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 18:17:21-04

RICHMOND, Va – Hundreds of Delta passengers patiently waited for their grounded flights to take off at Richmond International Airport early Monday morning. By noon, officials say nine Delta flights had taken off, all of them were delayed.

CBS6 Reporter Claudia Rupcich spoke to people who had been waiting to get more information about grounded flights.

Traveler Tracey Harris couldn't be more ready to get on her Delta flight early Monday morning.

“I’m on my way to St. Thomas for my daughter's wedding,” she said.

Except Harris was one of the hundreds of passengers stuck at Richmond International Airport.

"We're not going anywhere right now,” said Harris.

Delta officials said a power outage in Atlanta around 2:30 a.m. Monday caused a network outage impacting computer systems and operations around the world.  All flights were grounded resulting in major delays and cancellations.

"Waiting for friend to see what we're going to do as far as wait to see if the system will come back up or we going to get a rental car and try to drive to Indiana," said Clarence Taylor, who was at RIC waiting.

"Our plans were to get on a plane and hit Atlanta and then from Atlanta get to Denver,” said Rodney Parrish, another Delta flyer.

The outage impacted self-check-in kiosks, delta's website and flight status updates.

Delta officials confirmed to CBS 6 agents at the Richmond station were issuing handwritten boarding passes to passengers while their systems were down Monday morning.  The company ha protocols in place to make sure hand written passes are correct, according to a Delta spokeswoman.

Former Richmond TSA agent E.T. Webster says handwritten boarding passes are uncommon, but not unheard of.  He does not consider handwritten boarding passes a security risk because of all the steps passengers are required to take before entering the terminal.

"Inconvenience, yeah, but security, I don't think anything changes on that level, no," said Webster.

Delta's CEO apologized to customers for the "flight disruptions" caused by the outage.  He said the company is focused on getting their flight schedule back to normal.

“I wish I would've known because I could've called my son to pick me back up, and I could've caught a later flight,” said Parrish.

Most people at RIC waited to check in, with hopes they'd eventually take off.

“I have my bag and I have a bunch of books and I'm just going to sit there and wait for the flight. There's nothing I can do but wait,” said passenger Denise Price.

"I guess we'll get there sooner or later. That's the most important part,” said Parrish.

"I guess I'll just have to sit and wait and hopefully it won't be too long. My family is going to be there today and we have a whole week of things planned,” said Harris.

Delta issued a waiver for passengers whose flights were significantly delayed. As of noon, no Delta flights had been canceled at RIC.