Delta flight groundings create problems in Gulfport

Delta flight groundings create problems in Gulfport
It could take several hours, or even a day or two before all schedules return to normal. (Photo source: WLOX)
It could take several hours, or even a day or two before all schedules return to normal. (Photo source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - For anyone who travels by plane, it could be their worst nightmare. Every flight was grounded because of a system-wide computer crash. Deadlines were missed and long layovers were left trying to catch up. That nightmare came true Monday for passengers of Delta Airlines, and it was felt right here at home at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.

Apologies were heard a lot at the Delta counter. Long lines of passengers were trying to board a 5:50 a.m. flight to Atlanta, but the jet stayed on the tarmac for hours.

Some left luckier than others. One of them is Robert Stanfield.

"Personally, I have an hour and a half layover in Atlanta, so I don't think it's going to hurt me, but some of the people have only 20 minutes, and I don't see how they're going to make it," said Stanfield.

Some, like Cindy Pitler, knew that feeling well.

"I'm headed to Nashville for work. I have meetings there all week, and I'm supposed to be there by 9:30 this morning. I have a layover in Atlanta, and it doesn't look like I'm going to make it," Pitler said.

Some of the people standing in the Delta line this morning expressed their frustration at what happened, especially when they looked at the departure board and saw everything was on time, even when it wasn't. Many of them had the attitude of hey, c'est la vie. Put Evahleigh Shedd in that category.

"You know, if I miss it, I miss it. It's not a big deal to me. I'd rather get on this plane safely than having to hurry it up," Shedd explained.

With the world run by computers, many knew this was eventually bound to happen, including Teayra Briggs.

"I believe so. It makes us vulnerable. I mean, that's the world we live in today, and I don't think we really have a choice. We can't go back to paper," Briggs said.

Paper would have been nice for passengers simply trying to make a living if it meant they could arrive on time.

"I'm just heading to work. Not just missing my hop on the next one. Just a domino effect so it can get irritating," said Don Wade.

Some couldn't resist a little gallows humor, saying they were holding boarding passes to nowhere.

Delta is now offering travel vouchers for anyone whose flight was canceled altogether or suffered a significant delay. The waiver period runs from now through Aug. 12.

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