The PJ Tatler

LAX power outage?

On-site reports coming from people at Los Angeles International Airport are saying that all of LAX has just experienced a power outage. Unknown cause and duration. Could this affect air traffic nationwide?

UPDATE 1, 2:39pm:
Just got off the phone with someone in line at LAX who said that the arrivals/departures screens, plus light fixtures, went dark at around 2:22pm. More soon.

UPDATE 2, 2:50pm:
Presumably, LAX (as with all major U.S. airports) has it own backup generators and power system, so if true, this outage shouldn’t last for long. Also presumably, the actual air-traffic control tower has a self-sufficient power source, not reliant on the grid, for obvious reasons. More soon!

UPDATE 3, 2:52pm:
Still no mention of the outage on Google News, which bundles all major news sources. Several Twitter feeds have mentioned it, though.

Update 4, 2:56pm:
Tweet from “silentrunner98”:

Mo power to terminal so the bridge cannot reach plane. It’s already getting warm in plane. (@ LAX)

Update 5, 2:59pm:
Tweet from “twmtalks”:

BTW, when power is off with those electronic bathrooms in the terminals, toilets don’t flush & water won’t run. #LAX

Update 6, 3:04pm:
Tweet from “jonasthaler” reports on what Ed Driscoll dubs “The Picard Maneuver”:

Actor Patrick Stewart bails out of waiting for the f****** power to turn back on at LAX. TSA escort past 2500 sweatng fans #fb

Yes, we still do have an “aristocracy” in our society.

Update 7, 3:08pm:
Tweet from “Water4ExecDir”:

FYI. Power out for last 35 minutes in at least the SWA Terminal at LAX. So, expect delays. #LAX

So far, all reports that have named a specific part of the airport have come from the Southwest Airlines terminal, so it’s possible that the outrage is not airport-wide.

Update 8, 3:16pm:
Still no mention on the L.A. Times front page, nor on their breaking news page, nor on the Google News aggregator.

Update 9, 3:20pm:
Ongoing Twitter updates about the LAX outage, constantly updated.

Update 10, 3:30pm:
Tweet from dicksp8jr:

Stuck in LAX security line. Power’s out in all terminals. SF con flight’s delayed.

“Power’s out in all terminals”??? Uh-oh. Even with the air traffic tower still getting power, things like gangways, metal detectors, boarding-pass machines, and so on all require power, and if they’re not working, this could cause major delays at LAX that will ripple nationwide.

Update 11, 3:41pm:
Latest Twitter confirmation, from “lfung”:

Bad news: stuck on a plane on tarmac because of #poweroutage at #LAX. Good news: airline had upgraded me to F/C

Update 12, 3:46pm:
Just got a call from someone at Terminal 1 in LAX: Apparently, the power came back on at about 3:37pm, and the hour-long outage is now over. Hopefully!

Update 13, 3:55pm:
More reports of nationwide ripple effects:


Congrats, @UnitedAirlines. Portland is 2 hrs from LA but 20 hours after arriving at LAX, I’m now enjoying my 4th canceled or delayed flight


LAX airport, you lick butt hole. You forget to pay your power bill? Thanks for making my 1 hour flight to AZ feel like im going to europe.


RT @flyfrontier LAX is currently experiencing a power outage that is affecting multiple terminals & causing delays

Update 14, 3:57pm:
Flights at LAX now beginning to board as power comes back on. Cause of problem remains unknown.

Update 15, 4:07pm:
Here’s a picture of the security-screening line at LAX, so long that it’s stretching outdoors, according to _benbacon:

“#LAX is a MESS. This is the security line, reaching from Terminal 1 to 2!!!”

Update 16, 4:12pm:

Power may still not be restored completely to all terminals, according to PeterSandersWSJ:

Partial power outages affecting various LAX terminals. Prepare for greater hassles than usual if flying in/out of there tonight. #LAX

Update 17, 4:34pm:

leegallison Tweets a zinger:

#MSNBC #CNN #LAX power has been out 2 hours and you still have nothing posted. Get with it boys. #newsfail

Hey, come on over to the Tatler — we got it covered! Time to dump the MSM as a news source, anyway.

Update 18, 5:37pm:
The MSM finally gets a clue, three hours after the fact:

L.A. Times: Brief power outage affects some areas at LAX

Part of the news blurb:

Power was restored about 20 minutes after going out about 2 p.m.

I know for a fact that’s not true, based on the reports now of three different eyewitnesses and about 50 Twitterers: The outage lasted for well over an hour in some parts of the airport, and in some areas didn’t even begin until the outage as reported by the Times is said to have ended. Strange.

Anyway, that seems to be the end of the incident, so consider this the final update, unless some significant detail is revealed in the aftermath.