Morrisville, N.C. — Ticketing, security and other systems are slowly coming back online at Raleigh-Durham International after an hours-long outage stopped operations at the airport’s main terminal Friday morning.
Around 8 a.m., the airport tweeted, “RDU is working to safely restore all systems. We appreciate your patience and we apologize for the disruptions. Guests should continue to check with their airline for flight status.”
The outage, reported shortly after 4 a.m., was so severe that RDU said it was unable to serve passengers in Terminal 2, the airport’s busiest terminal. Terminal 1, which services only Southwest Airlines, was unaffected.
The lights were on at the airport and some screens were lit, so people weren’t in the dark, but the power outage was impacting numerous other systems essential for operations.
A spokesperson at the airport said the cause of the outage was due to a water leaking onto an electrical box. The power outage was impacting ticketing, security and gate bridges, among other systems.
By 7 a.m., contractors were at the airport working to repair the electrical outage, officials said. There was no estimated time for power restoration.
Airport staff was having to conduct all operations manually, resulting in the long lines winding through the terminal and out the doors. Some travelers waiting outside the terminal in the drop-off area told WRAL’s Brett Knese that their flight was supposed to be leaving at that moment.
The long lines stretched outside the airport doors as early as 4:30 a.m.. The boards usually showing flight status were black, and WRAL crews at the airport reported a lot of confusion indoors and outdoors.
By 6 a.m., around half of all flights on the board before 9 a.m. were delayed. Other airplanes were in the air and had to be diverted to the Charlotte airport. Some flights were canceled.
The spokesperson said it was “unavoidable that flights will be delayed or canceled today.”
A woman whose flight was originally scheduled for 7 a.m. didn’t know what to think.
“I’m feeling anxious, frustrated, although I know it’s nobody’s fault,” she said.
Another passenger said, “I’ve never seen Raleigh like this.”
The issue is already impacting flights across the country.
The airport encouraged passengers, especially those with morning trips, to check their flight status before arriving the airport.