Delta computer meltdown part of a larger computer network problem – Chicago Tribune

Behind each of the four big players in the U.S. airline industry – American, United, Delta and Southwest – there is a tangled computer system pieced together after decades of mergers that married mismatched networks.

Just what went wrong with Delta Air Lines’ system Monday that caused hundreds of cancellations and delays is still being sorted out. Was it a power outage, as Delta says? Or was it more likely an internal computer glitch, as Georgia Power, the utility at Delta’s Atlanta hub, says?

In either case, aviation and computer specialists say, it shouldn’t have happened. Computer systems and their electric power sources should have foolproof backups, they say.

Tens of thousands of passengers were delayed as Delta canceled 451 of its nearly 6,000 daily flights by mid-afternoon Monday. The airline warned that more cancellations and delays were likely to follow as it struggled to revive its computer network.

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