Hartsfield-Jackson’s Plane Train breakdown causes delays

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

The Plane Train at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport broke down early Friday morning and was running on modified service throughout much of the day.

The people-mover train that transports passengers inside the world’s busiest airport between terminals and concourses broke down before 5:30 a.m. Friday.

Travelers instead had to walk between concourses to get to their gates, filling the underground transportation mall hallways.

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

By about 9:30 a.m. the airport posted on Twitter that the train was running on modified service.

After 4 p.m., the airport posted that the Plane Train was still operating with limited service, warning: “We ask for your patience as wait times are extended and may vary. Please plan ahead and give yourself ample time to catch your flight, given this delay.”

Meanwhile, long security lines were also delaying passengers during peak times Friday. Wait times at the domestic terminal’s North checkpoint, for example, were more than half an hour long at about 4 p.m. Friday.

Technicians were still onsite Friday afternoon running diagnostics, according to an airport spokeswoman.

Last month, a city audit said Hartsfield-Jackson International relies on just one company to maintain the underground people mover — the company that built it — under a no-bid, cost reimbursable contract, and that’s an “inherently risky” situation.

That means there isn’t a competitive contracting process for the work.