Speaking at the airport, a regional economic engine that hosts about 275,000 passengers a day, city officials repeatedly apologized for the outage that happened at about 1 p.m. on Sunday and left bustling corridors largely lit by the glow of iPhones.
While stranded on the tarmac, he had written: "Total and abject failure here at ATL Airport today".
Delta said customers flying to, from or through Atlanta through Tuesday can make a one-time change to their travel plans for free. The airline encouraged travelers not to pick up their bags Monday because of congestion at the airport.
When Delta flights were grounded last spring because of a storm in the South, it took the airline five days - and about 4,000 canceled flights - before it fully recovered. "We are stuck here", she said. Delta cancelled about 900 flights on Sunday.
Delta was the hardest-hit airline from the outage, accounting for most of the canceled flights..
The city of Atlanta opened the Georgia International Convention Center and offered shuttle services there for stranded passengers who needed a place to stay for the night, according to the city's verified Twitter account.
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Adding to the nightmare are what some passengers said was a lack of information from airport officials and help from first responders to get the disabled and the elderly through the airport without the use of escalators and elevators.
Making matters worse, firefighters and electrical crews weren't able to work on bringing back the power for two hours after the initial outage because they couldn't access an underground tunnel to check out the damage, due to intense heat and unsafe fumes.
"They say it is for now", Henderson said.
The Atlanta-based airline said the latest wave of cancellations aimed to restore order to its frazzled schedule, which the company hopes to have fixed by Monday afternoon.
More than 100 million trips and connections began or ended at the airport in 2015, according to Airports Council International. Southwest, United and JetBlue also reported scores of cancellations and delays.