ATL Power Fully Restored as Atlanta Opens Convention Center for Stranded Passengers

Dec 18, 2017

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Power was finally restored to Atlanta Airport (ATL) just before midnight Sunday night, as stranded passengers are thrown a lifeline by the City of Atlanta: food and lodging.

Power Restoration

At 7:32pm Eastern, the airport reported that the first ATL concourse to have restored power was the international Concourse F. Then at 11:19pm, there was a major breakthrough as power was restored in the “Atrium and Concourses T, A and B!” Finally, at 11:55pm, the Atlanta mayor was finally able to report that power had been fully restored:

Food and Lodging for Stranded Passengers

On Twitter, the airport has been telling passengers to “consider taking a MARTA train to Downtown or Midtown for a hotel.” However, now stranded passengers have another option. The City of Atlanta has opened the nearby Georgia International Convention Center for stranded passengers to sleep overnight:

In case you missed it, there’s a pretty amazing revelation in that tweet: Chick-fil-A is opening Sunday. In what’s being deemed The Miracle on Peachtree Street, the fast food chain famously closed on Sundays is mobilizing employees to work to feed the stranded ATL passengers Sunday night — where they’ve already given out 2,000 meals — into Monday.

Passengers Stranded on Planes

The good news is that — finally — the last passengers that were stranded on grounded planes has been able to deplane, as the Atlanta mayor reported on Twitter at 10:12pm:

But, before then, it was starting to look bleak for passengers — some of which were fearing for their lives:

One passenger reported arriving at ATL airport at 2:15pm after a long transcontinental flight from San Jose (SJC). The aircraft was still on the tarmac at 8:40pm:

Another passenger arrived on a 10.5-hour transAltantic flight just to sit on the tarmac in ATL:

Ellen would finally report “FREEEEEDOM” at 9:34pm after nearly 17 hours on what looks to be a Delta Boeing 767 aircraft:

Travel Waivers

As of the airport’s 7pm statement: “the cause of the incident is still unknown.” With the power restored and the FAA ground stop lifted, flights should resume Monday. However, passengers can expect delays and cancellations to continue as airlines deal with out-of-position crew and aircraft.

With the situation in flux, airlines have set-up travel waivers to allowing free flight changes for passengers scheduled to fly to, from or through ATL:

American Airlines

  • Travel dates: December 17-18
  • Airport covered: Atlanta (ATL)
  • Must have bought your ticket by December 17
  • Rebook travel anytime between December 17-21
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.


  • Travel dates: December 17-19
  • Airport covered: Atlanta (ATL)
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: December 22
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond December 22, 2017, the change fee will be waived. However, a difference in fare may apply. Final travel must be completed by end of ticket validity, one year from date of original issue.
  • If travel is not able to be rescheduled within these guidelines, customers may cancel their reservation and apply any unused value of the ticket toward the purchase of a new ticket for a period of one year from the original ticket issuance. Applicable change fee and fare difference will apply for new travel dates.


  • Travel dates: December 17-19
  • Airport covered: Atlanta (ATL)
  • Must have bought your ticket by December 17
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: January 1
  • Origin and destination cities may be changed.
  • One change available. Rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived.


  • Travel dates: December 17
  • Airport covered: Atlanta (ATL)
  • Must have bought your ticket by December 17
  • Rebook travel anytime through December 19
  • To rebook travel or request a refund online, click here. If you are already checked in for your flight, call [JetBlue] at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) for assistance with rebooking or a credit.


  • Travel dates: December 17-18
  • Airport covered: Atlanta (ATL)
  • Due to an airport-wide power outage at Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport (ATL), Southwest Airlines has cancelled all remaining operations in/out of ATL today, December 17.  There is nothing we value more than the safety and security of our Customers, and we are closely monitoring the situation at ATL.  At this time, we plan on operating our regular ATL schedule on Monday, December 18.
  • To provide additional flexibility, customers … may rebook in the original class of service or travel standby (within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city-pairs and in accordance with [Southwest’s] accommodation procedures) without paying any additional charge


  • Travel dates: December 17-18
  • Airport covered: Atlanta (ATL)
  • Modification Charge/Fare Difference waived through: December 21
  • Customers can make changes to their reservations affected by this event by going to [Spirit’s] Manage Travel page, or by calling the Spirit Reservations Center at 801-401-2222 to make their flight changes. To make changes to Spirit Vacation packages contact Spirit Vacations at 954-698-0125.


  • Travel dates: December 17-19
  • Airport covered: Atlanta (ATL)
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before December 22, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​

No waivers (yet) from: Alaska Air, Virgin America

Featured image posted to Twitter by CR24.

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