Power outage at Oakland airport strands passengers on runways and in security lines

A power outage at Oakland International Airport on Tuesday evening led to snaking security lines, planes waiting on runways and passengers stranded on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Oakland officials said about 7:30 p.m. that crews were working to resolve a power outage affecting the airport. Another update just after 8 p.m. said that power had been restored to the majority of the airport. Thirty minutes later, officials said that arrivals and departures were operating again.

“We apologize for the inconvenience,” the airport tweeted.

But that didn’t solve the problems caused by the outage.


The blackout prompted a flurry of tweets from travelers. Videos showed a darkened airport, where people sat on the floor at their gates or in unmoving lines for security screenings.

Passengers posted about how their planes had landed at Oakland, but they were unable to get off. Others tweeted that they had deplaned but their bags had not arrived. Even more still said their flights were delayed several hours, forcing some of them to miss their connecting flights.

Airport officials said they were working to fully restore power and resolve problems caused by the outage.


Thanksgiving is the busiest time for air travel. Earlier this month, Oakland airport officials warned that Tuesday would be particularly crowded and asked people to arrive early for their flights. The busiest day at the airport this holiday season will be Wednesday, officials said.

A Wednesday rush seems even more likely given the delays and other problems the power outage caused.

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