ROMULUS, Mich. – Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta is the busiest airport in the world.
So it's the worst airport to have a catastrophic failure like the one it had on Sunday. It was about 1 p.m. when a fire underground caused a power outage. That began a domino effect.
Cancellation after cancellation mounted up at the airport. Outgoing planes were halted and left sitting on the tarmac. Arriving flights were diverted to other cities.
At Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) the trickle-down effect from Atlanta could be seen Monday morning. There were red lines on the flight status board.
Sara Alexander is on a huge, 19-person family trip to Jamaica. Their flight was canceled. They rushed to DTW to try to sort it all out.
"Less stressful than I thought it would be," said Alexander.
The Atlanta airport services about 275,000 passengers a day. But this is a peak time as 51 million passengers will fly between Dec. 15 and Jan. 4.
View DTW departure flight status here.
DTW offers statement on preparedness
Detroit Metro Airport released the following statement about its own preparedness for such a power outage:
Safety is the highest priority at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and we take a multi-layered approach to safety and security. One key component of that approach is preparedness. As part of the Airport Emergency Plan, we prepare for many types of emergencies, including a power outage. Each year, we conduct training and table top exercises to ensure we know how to respond when an emergency occurs.
In the event of a large-scale power outage at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, there is a source for self-power generation at each terminal. This source will provide backup power generation if necessary.
Our Airport Authority team, including our volunteer Airport Ambassadors, airline and federal partners work together during any emergency to not only resolve the issue, but also assist customers.