Chicago’s O’Hare International has gotten more than three inches of rain in the past 24 hours and more is on the way as the city remains under a flash flood watch. Flights are being delayed and canceled left and right.
American Cancels Hundreds of Flights
FlightStats reports O’Hare and Midway (as well as other Midwest airports) are laboring under “excessive” delays, and hundreds of flights have been canceled, most by American and American Eagle. But even if you’re not taking off from Chicago or traveling there, this could affect you, too.
Chicago Delays Affect Other Airports
Other travelers may be delayed by the traffic snarl that is Chicago in two ways:
- If your flight connects through Chicago
- If your flight, no matter where it’s heading, is coming to you via Chicago
Call it the cascade or domino effect: one delayed flight can lead to another. For example, you may think you have nothing to worry about regarding your trip from Los Angeles to New York, but if the plane you’ll travel on is coming from Chicago, you too could face delays.
Bad Week for American Airlines
To say this hasn’t been a good week for American is putting it mildly. On Tuesday, the airline had to grapple with an hours-long computer outage that drove travelers crazy – and now this. What can passengers do?
When Bad Weather Affects Your Flight
If planes are grounded, there’s not much you can do except try to get on the first flight out. As travel expert Rick Seaney has said before, “Multi-tasking is key to being first in line for the next available empty seats.” His suggestions:
- Get in line at the gate for the next available agent
- At the same time, get on the phone, in case that’s quicker
- Explain your problem to your airline on Twitter
Depending on the carrier, Twitter can be the fastest route to resolving a problem, and if you’re not adept at social media, this is a great reason to learn more.