HomeNews‘Power Bump’ Sends Los Angeles Airport Terminal Into Darkness and Mayhem

‘Power Bump’ Sends Los Angeles Airport Terminal Into Darkness and Mayhem

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

It just seems like not the greatest time to fly. American Airlines recently canceled or delayed hundreds of flights. Additionally, the whole industry is short-staffed and low on supplies. Last night, LAX experienced a power bump that plunged the entire airport into darkness and delayed flights.

It all started around 8 pm Pacific Time last night. The official LAX Twitter account notified its followers that the airport was experiencing a power outage. However, they assured everyone that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was investigating the power bump. Furthermore, they brought in extra staff and beefed up their airport police force to keep everything moving as smoothly as possible.

The LAX Twitter account updated its followers about thirty minutes later. They said that power to most terminals was back after the power bump. Additionally, they noted that most systems were back up and running. However, they reported that some terminals were still on backup power, but the airfield was still open and flights were moving.

Terminal 6, they said, got the worst of the power bump. Flights in and out of the terminal were delayed or re-routed. They urged customers at the terminal to check their flight status with their airline.

It was a rough time that probably felt like forever for many already-stressed travelers. However, LAX reported that they had successfully navigated the power bump. Less than an hour after the initial outage, the airline returned to normal. Everything was running at full power before 9 pm.

A Look at the Power Bump

A local CBS affiliate had a birds-eye-view of the aftermath of LAX’s power bump. The video shows a darkened airport from above. Even before they point it out, it’s easy to spot Terminal 6. The terminal is a barely-lit dark spot in the middle of the camera’s view. The news crew also had some additional information about conditions at the airport.

Reporter Desmond Shaw noted that many of LAX’s terminals were running on backup generators. Then, he explained exactly how that affected passengers. “They’re running on generator power right now, but that only helps with stuff like emergency lights. They can’t get traffic moving, I don’t think they can screen passengers, and they can’t get these planes out of the terminal,” he explained.

Shaw then noted that getting the power back on was only the first step. “Once they do get power back, they have to reboot all their systems. So, this could take several hours to address, even if they were to get power back right now. As if LAX wasn’t already frustrating and stressful enough. This just adds insult to injury.”

Luckily for everyone involved, LAX and the LADWP were able to navigate the power bump and get passengers on their way in less than an hour.