Spirit Airlines crew takes Minnesota boy under their wing during Atlanta outage
(KMSP) - Airports are working to get back on track after a power outage at the world's busiest airport in Atlanta. A fire at an underground service tunnel brought everything to a standstill Sunday, causing a nightmare for travelers.
More than 1500 flights were canceled just days before the Christmas rush, and thousands of people were stuck on planes or terminals with limited food.
Delta, the largest carrier in Atlanta, thought everything would be back to normal by Monday. But that doesn't mean there weren't more hiccups. What began as a direct flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta turned into quite the ride for Dita Williams' 10-year-old son Jamarion.
"He said, 'we have a problem,' and I said, 'what is the problem' and he said 'there's a power outage.' And I said 'what!?'"
Jamarion Givens was hundreds of miles away from home and flying alone for the first time, when a fire sparked a massive power outage at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
More than 1,000 flights were grounded, and thousands of travelers were left in the dark for hours.
"It was not a good feeling that came over me. I was like, 'what are the chances?'"
The Spirit Airlines plane that Givens was traveling in was diverted to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He boarded a bus and wouldn't arrive to Atlanta to meet his father until more than nine hours later.
Williams said that the staff onboard watched over her son and kept in constant contact through texts and photos, which includes a shot in the cockpit.
"My son could have been displaced - anything bad - but they kept him by their side," she said.
"It was scary, but fun," Jamarion said. "I didn't know who was going to get me or what I was going to do."
The fifth-grader described the scene at the Atlanta airport as chaotic.
Although her son's trip included an unexpected detour, Williams is thankful he is safe.