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Power restored at Atlanta; Mérida flights still on the board

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Power is back at the Atlanta airport, which began flights to Mérida on Dec. 1. Photo: Atlanta.net

Mérida, Yucatán — Flights to and from Atlanta remain on Aeroméxico’s boards this morning as the world’s busiest airport recovers from an 11-hour power outage.

But travelers would be well-advised to call ahead before heading to the airport, especially if connecting to a Delta flight. That’s because travel woes at Atlantas airport are expected to linger for days.

More than 1,000 flights were grounded early Sunday afternoon just days before the start of the Christmas travel rush. Delta, whose hub is in Atlanta, is being hit the hardest.

Travelers in the northeast will have to change their plans today. Flights to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport from major airports in Connecticut and New York area airports were canceled Monday morning according to flight tracking websites.

But as of Monday morning, Aeromexico’s website says that today’s 12:15 p.m. flight to Mérida is “on time,” as is the 3:10 p.m. flight back.

Daily flights between Mérida and Atlanta, which connects to most every major U.S. city, began Dec. 1 to great fanfare. Aeromexico flies under an alliance with Delta, so most of its connecting flights are with that airline.

Georgia Power said the outage was caused by a fire in an underground electrical facility.

All outgoing flights were halted, and arriving planes were held on the ground at their point of departure, the Associated Press reports.

By Sunday evening, Delta had already canceled nearly 900 flights and another 300 Monday, according to FlightAware.com.

It likely will be Tuesday before Delta’s operations in Atlanta return to normal, said aviation consultant Robert Mann. And for passengers “it could be most of the week” because there aren’t many open seats on other flights in the last week before Christmas.

Delta customers in Atlanta can make a one-time change to travel plans without incurring the standard $200 change fee. The airline also encouraged travelers not to pick up their bags today because of anticipated congestion at the airport.

When flights at Atlanta were grounded for most of one day last spring, it took Delta five days — and about 4,000 canceled flights — before it fully recovered, the AP notes.

The airport serves an average of 275,000 passengers daily, according to its website. Nearly 2,500 planes arrive and depart each day.

With information from the Associated Press and the Connecticut Post

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