Chicago/ Transportation & Infrastructure
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Published on May 27, 2024
Over 1,000 Chicago Flights Delayed Amid Severe Weather as Memorial Day Travelers Face DisruptionsSource: Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Chicago's airports experienced significant delays Sunday as severe storms rolled across the area, triggering both Severe Thunderstorms and Tornado Warnings. Amid this inclement weather, more than 1,000 flights were delayed contributing to the travel chaos as many were about to begin their Memorial Day Weekend trips.

Despite the aggressive weather patterns, only a handful of flights were outright canceled, but the vast majority of air travelers found themselves grounded with nowhere to quickly go. O'Hare International Airport saw just 28 flight cancellations and 1,024 delays, while Midway International Airport had 162 flights delayed in the last 24 hours, as detailed by CBS News Chicago.

Compounding the storm's impact was the timing of the disruptions, which clashed with what AAA estimated as the second-highest Memorial Day travel volume. Illinois was expected to see more than 1.8 million people traveling, with Indiana not far behind with around 900,000 residents hitting the road or skies, as per FOX 32 Chicago. The delays at O'Hare, coupled with the average 15-minute delay in departures, only served to throw a wrench into the plans of many.

The issues at O'Hare began earlier in the weekend when multiple airlines, including United, Delta, Spirit, American, Air Canada, and Southwest, had to delay or cancel their flights because of thunderstorms. Travelers hoping to quickly embark on their weekend getaways instead were met with a frustrating reality, with some of the impacted flights being pushed overnight or into early Saturday morning, according to FOX 32 Chicago.

Chicago-Transportation & Infrastructure