O’Hare’s Perfect Storm

It was a madhouse at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport yesterday with more than a thousand flights cancelled and thousands of passengers stranded by the winter storms affecting the country. And the misery continues today reports NBC Chicago:

Hundreds of frustrated fliers could be seen staring at the arrival and departure screens Tuesday morning hoping to not see red, but many still were as cancellations continued hours after Monday’s winter storm wreaked havoc on travel plans.
More than 1,600 flights were canceled Monday amid an icy storm system, creating a massive backlog of passengers trying to get out of the city.

Stranded travelers spend the night sleeping on cots in Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports, on chairs, the floor or anywhere they could find space after yesterday’s storm grounded thousands of Chicago flights after the holidays.
Airlines worked to de-ice planes quickly enough to get as many planes as they could onto their destinations, but with more than 300 flights canceled at O’Hare and 1,300 flights canceled at O’Hare, by the day’s end more than half of the city’s slated air schedule had been cleared for re-booking.

215 flights have already been cancelled today. And the day ain’t over yet.

The reasons for the mess include:

  • the Christmas holiday and its timing
  • the weather
  • the hub system still used by many airlines
  • where the weather struck. Chicago is a hub for multiple airlines. When Chicago is socked in with bad weather as happened yesterday, the effects ripple across the country. But Texas was affected by the bad weather, too, and there are hubs in Texas as well.

Flights weren’t just cancelled because you couldn’t get in or out of Chicago but also because of a lack of equipment. Planes stranded elsewhere couldn’t continue on to Chicago.

Things probably won’t get back to normal for a week.

8 comments… add one
  • ... Link

    Winter storms? You’re out of you’re fucking mind. It’s late spring, what are you guys doing with winter storms?

  • Andy Link

    I’m in Cleveland for the holidays and it’s been rain, rain, rain. I hope travelers can get to where they are going soon.

  • In late afternoon yesterday we heard a sudden noise that sounded like the building was coming down. It was ice sliding off the slanted roof.

  • ... Link

    What the Hell are you doing with ice on your roof in May?

  • ... Link

    It’s 85 degrees out, how can there be ice?

  • ... Link

    We’ve had to run the AC every day this month, that cannot be winter.

  • CStanley Link

    Ellipses, at least you’re in FL so that’s not so unusual….I’m in North Georgia, had a cookout this evening (complete with mosquitoes) after I got home from treating dogs with flea allergy dermatitis at work.

  • ... Link

    CStanley, this is weird weather. I remember warms days this time of year in the past. I even remember being a small boy and going out to play on Christmas day just wearing shorts. I don’t ever remember an entire month like this. This I’d absurd weather.

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