PHOENIX — Full recovery of operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is not expected until 2:30 p.m. Monday afternoon following a power outage that forced the delays or cancellations of dozens of flights and sent an Arizona Public Service (APS) worker to the hospital.
Flights from American Airlines and Southwest Airlines were delayed or canceled Monday morning after a power outage within Terminal 4 impacted operations. Power was also knocked out at Terminal 3, which operates flights for Frontier Airlines and Delta Air Lines, but was restored about an hour later.
The airport said it was notified by APS around 8:05 a.m. that it was experiencing a partial power outage at the airport, which impacted both Terminal 3 and 4. Around 9 a.m., power to Terminal 3 was restored, the airport said.
Officials said American and Southwest were both experiencing “significant flight impacts.” Travelers were encouraged to check in with their specific airline for updates regarding the status of their flights, the airport said.
In a statement, Southwest Airlines said 15 inbound flights were diverted to other airports and more than 30 flights have been canceled, “with more expected throughout the day.” Check current status of Southwest flights here.
“Due to a power outage that occurred this morning impacting the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and a resulting Air Traffic Control ground stop, Southwest Airlines anticipates significant delays, cancellations, and diversions today for customers traveling to/from Phoenix,” the airline said. “We have issued a Travel Advisory to relax our fare rules for impacted Customers and will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds. We are doing our best to take care of our customers the best we can, and we appreciate their patience.”
American Airlines said in its own statement that it was aware of the power outage and that it will rebook travelers whose flights were impacted. Sources said American had canceled 14 flights and diverted five, while 38 others were delayed. Check current status of American flights here.
“We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work with the airport to restore service as quickly as possible. Customers whose travel plans are impacted will be reaccommodated on alternate flights once power has been restored to the terminal,” the airline said.
APS said in a statement that workers were performing scheduled maintenance at the airport on Monday ahead of the holiday travel season when “a piece of electrical equipment failed causing a power outage at both terminals and injuring one of our crew members.”
That worker was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. “The health and wellbeing of our crew is of the utmost importance to us, and we will continue to monitor the employee’s condition,” APS said.
The utility said it was working to restore full power to Terminal 4.
In an 11:15 a.m. update, Sky Harbor officials said American and Southwest were beginning to release flights for departure and arrival, while other flights that had been diverted are back on their way to Phoenix. Power is still out in portions of Terminal 4 and the C checkpoint remains closed.
A Sky Harbor spokesperson confirmed that full recovery of the airport’s operations wasn’t expected until mid-afternoon Monday. TSA and APS said they anticipated power to be restored around 2:30 p.m., which would be about six hours after power was initially lost.
In addition to flights being affected, restaurants, stores, and checkpoint operations were also impacted, a spokesperson for Sky Harbor and TSA said.
Travel alert: Although power is still out, progress @PHXSkyHarbor. Electrical/IT staff on-scene continue to work. Full power restoration ETR is approximately 14:30. @AmericanAir @SouthwestAir ticketing, gates operations still affected, however some systems are coming back up.
— TSA_SouthWest (@Tsa_SouthWest) November 8, 2021
Watch live video from the scene below.
Viewer Paul Mpistolarides shared the following video, showing passengers in the mostly dark airport.
‘Power bump’ impacting travelers at Sky Harbor airport
According to ABC15 crews at the airport, automatic toilets in some parts of Terminal 4 were also not working just before noon as work continued to be done to restore airport operations.
Airport officials confirmed, “some restrooms are out of order on level 2 of Terminal 4. Restrooms are open on level 3 and on the west end of levels 1 and 2” for anyone in the terminal.
This is a developing situation. Stay with ABC15 News for updates.