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article imageDelta Air Lines digging out of delays from massive computer crash

By Nathan Salant     Aug 9, 2016 in Travel
San Francisco - Delta Air Lines continued to recover Tuesday from a massive computer outage that grounded flights and stranded passengers at the San Francisco Bay Area's three major airports.
Five flights out of the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose airports were cancelled and many more were delayed Monday after a major disruption to the airline's technological systems caused hundreds of flight cancellations across the country and worldwide.
More delays and cancellations were expected Tuesday, even though the airline's computer systems were back up Monday evening, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
"We were able to bring our systems back on line and resume flights within a few hours yesterday but we are still operating in recovery mode,” said Dave Holtz, a Delta senior vice president, in a statement posted on the airline's website.
“We are sorry for what many of our customers have experienced over the past 24 hours, including those who remain at airports and continue waiting for their flights," Holtz said.
"We are doing everything we can to return our operation to normal reliability, but we do expect additional delays and cancellations,” he said.
Delta said 300 flights would be cancelled Tuesday, and that it was offering affected travelers compensation in the form of free ticket vouchers and free schedule changes.
At San Francisco International Airport, impacted passengers waited to reschedule flights in long lines that stretched from Terminal 2 ticket counters through an adjacent hallway, the newspaper said.
Delta employees gave out bottled water and breakfast bars to waiting passengers and placed bowls of candy at ticket counters for those lucky enough to make it to the head of the line.
“They’ve been really nice,” said Susan Kalmbach, an attorney from Baton Rouge, La., who was in San Francisco to attend a conference with her husband.
“They’re doing their best to keep people happy, she said. “Stuff happens.”
Veterinarian Carlos Diaz of Miami was flying home with five of his relatives, some of whom were trying to get to Colombia to visit an ailing family member.
But it gradually looked as if they would have to stay in Atlanta, Delta's main hub, for the night, Diaz said.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian broadcast an apology to customers, pledging to restore the system, as the airline told passengers that flight information on its website and phone app could be wrong as a result of the outage.
Delta was not expected to offer any compensation to passengers for the delays and missed connections, the newspaper said.
“They are not responsible for any kind of incidental damage you suffered,” National Geographic Traveler magazine ombudsman Christopher Elliott told the newspaper.
“Technically, the airline isn’t required to keep its schedule,” he said.
In fact, Delta’s own online conditions of carriage state that the airline "is not responsible or liable for making connections, or for failing to operate any flight according to schedule, or for changing the schedule or any flight,” the newspaper said.
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