FAA outage update: Cause, airline waivers, and 8,500 delayed flights

Airlines offering waivers amid FAA travel outage.

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The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said hold my beer and one-upped Southwest delaying more than 8,500 US flights and canceling over 1,200, following an IT glitch that resulted in a nationwide outage on Wednesday. All caused by…a single corrupted file.

Flight delays and other issues at airports across the country were caused by failed FAA Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) notifications, which notify pilots and other personnel of conditions that could affect flight safety, thus forcing all US flights to be grounded. 

Even once FAA lifted its ground stop order Wednesday morning, airlines were left with a huge mess to clean up in order to get back on track. 

A full refund is available to all passengers whose flight was canceled, according to guidelines set by the Department of Transportation. There are several airlines that are also offering customers waivers to rebook flights, but they need to act quickly.

Airlines offering waivers for canceled or delayed flights: 

  • Delta Air Airlines – Delta customers may rebook their Wednesday flights for travel no later than January 13 without having to pay any difference in fares. Flight credit is available to customers who cannot travel by January 13, but they are responsible for any fare differences.

  • Southwest – Customers may reebok their Wednesday flights or fly standby within 14 days without incurring any additional charges. Travel is restricted to the cities originally booked.

  • United – Customers who had flights scheduled to or from these airports on Wednesday can rebook flights without paying fees or fare differences if they book on or before January 16. 

While my deepest condolences go out to those who suffered through the first Southwest fiasco and now this ironic saga, I can’t help but giggle at this tweet. Life truly imitates art.

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