Overnight computer glitch delays Delta flights from Missoula

The Delta Air Lines ticketing counter at Missoula International Airport was a lonely place early Monday morning as passengers held behind security waited for their flights to depart. (Photo by Martin Kidston)

By Martin Kidston

A widespread computer problem hit Delta Air Lines early Monday, delaying several flights out of Missoula International Airport that left passengers scrambling to reschedule their flights.

The airline said the problems resulted from a power outage in Atlanta overnight and that customers should expect “large-scale” cancellations.

“We got here at about 4 a.m., and they didn’t even know they were grounded yet,” said Tim Leegan. “I saw it on my phone. They thought their computers were down here in Missoula.”

According to Delta, the computer outage began at around 12:30 a.m. Mountain Time after a power outage caused computer systems in Atlanta to crash. Delta operates three morning flights out of Missoula, including Seattle, Salt Lake City and Minneapolis.

At national airports, some flights managed to depart on schedule, including the local flight to Seattle. Other local flights, including those to Minneapolis and Salt Lake City, were delayed.

The computer problems also meant that flight information was not showing up correctly on Delta’s website or airport information boards. It was unknown if the morning delays would impact arrives into Missoula later in the day.

“I was here at 4:15 a.m.,” said one woman, who declined to give her name. “I don’t even remember when they finally announced it. I did hear their computers were down. We didn’t know what was going on until another hour or two in.”

The woman was heading to Minneapolis, though the delay forced her to reschedule her flight.

“They told me I was going to miss my connection for sure,” she said. “They’ve been doing their best, considering.”

Delta said the halt on departures was lifted at around 6:40 a.m. Mountain Time, allowing some flights to resume.

Contact reporter Martin Kidston at info@missoulacurrent.com