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Flights Back On But Delayed At O’Hare, Midway Airports After FAA’s Nationwide Outage

Hundreds of flights have been canceled or delayed at O'Hare and Midway airports, according to the city's airport department.

Travelers with their luggage pass through O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 1 on June 30, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — All flights were temporarily grounded and delayed at O’Hare and Midway airports Wednesday morning as part of a nationwide system outage.

The Federal Aviation Administration experienced the system outage, leading to flights being grounded throughout the United States. The agency lifted its ground stop order about 7:50 a.m., with flights being allowed to resume “gradually” — but massive delays are expected as a result.

The ground stop order for Midway and O’Hare was lifted as of 9 a.m., according to the city’s aviation department. But the agency warned travelers that delays and cancellations “will likely continue throughout the day” as a result of the outage, according to a news release.

More than 60 flights have been canceled at O’Hare and more than 570 delayed in the past 24 hours, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation website. At Midway, 35 flights have been canceled and more than 250 delayed in the past 24 hours.

The agency is “in touch with the FAA and its airline partners to minimize impacts to flight operations and to ensure the safety and security of passengers,” according to the department.

Travelers are being encouraged to check their flight status before going to the airport and look into rebooking options through their airline.

The domestic departures terminal for United Airlines at O’Hare was calm and orderly Wednesday morning, with many people waiting in hopes their flights would only be delayed and not canceled.

“If I didn’t read about this on the news, it would seem like nothing is going on,” said Michele Weiss, who has her bags packed for a vacation to Hawaii.

Weiss had family in Baltimore who were supposed to catch a flight to meet her, but their flight was canceled, she said. Hers was still scheduled to depart on time.

“I’m waiting it out. And I’m not checking my bags until I know my flight is good to go,” Weiss said.

Monica Birnbaum said she was traveling with her daughters’ ice skating team, Teams Elite, which is representing the United States in a competition Saturday in Switzerland.

The 30-plus girls have a connecting flight to catch in Newark, and Birnbaum said she just hopes they’ll make it. Their flights out of Chicago were delayed.

“I’m just hoping this gets fixed smoothly” Birnbaum said. “And we all make it to Switzerland to compete.”

Trey Lemon and Mackenzie Scott were already stuck with hour-and-a-half delays for their flights home to Florida. They were on their way to the airport when the delays hit, but they’re taking it in stride, Scott said.

“We just want to take off without catching delay after delay,” Scott said. “In the meantime we’ll sit here and make some TikToks.”

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