Automated train outage at Tampa International makes a long travel day even longer for some


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Dan Anderson is a Tampa attorney and an experienced traveler who is very familiar with Tampa International Airport. After a long day of travel Sunday night, Anderson and dozens of other travelers ran into a problem when the SkyConnect train system shut down.

The SkyConnect is an automated train system that takes travelers from the main terminal building to the Economy Garage and Rental Car Center.

“The lady said, ‘well the tram is not working so you’ve got to go back down to curbside and there are going to be busses running,'” Anderson said. “Well, she didn’t say it was the red side, curbside, so I went to the Blue side.”

He was traveling by himself and only had one bag and a backpack, but he says others were not as fortunate.

“There were people with small children, it was late, elderly people, people with lots of baggage, golf clubs that they had to load onto this bus or mini bus or whatever, carting all of this stuff around,” Anderson said.

“It’s just not the type of thing you would want to have happen at that time of night.”

An airport spokesperson says a power outage caused the train to go down. The outage lasted about 90 minutes. Anderson said it took him at least that long to get from the terminal to his parked car. He said he was most disappointed by a lack of clear communication about the issue and where to go to get alternate transportation.

“I would have thought we would have thought this through, we would have some kind of a game plan for when something eventually breaks because we know it’s going to break” he said. “It’s such a great airport, you know we expect more and I think we are lucky to have a great airport and it was surprising to me to see how unprepared they were for what happened last night.

A statement from Tampa International Airport said “Along with safety, customer service is a top priority at TPA and we strive to deliver a perfect experience to our travelers. We apologize that we missed the mark in this instance, and we continue to look for ways we can improve service in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as this one.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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