Passengers Stuck for Hours at Chicago Airports Amid Severe Weather

on Jun15

15 June 2017 | 11:00 am

As severe weather canceled more than 500 flights at Chicago airports, passengers were left stranded on the tarmac and at baggage claim for several hours late Wednesday night and into Thursday morning. 

Some sleeping on floors, others stuck on planes for at least two hours, passengers reported their frustrations over the massive delays and cancellations. 

Among those stuck on an American Airlines flight at O’Hare Airport was SNL’s Aidy Bryant. 

“I have laughed and cried listening to the audio in my new home, this American airline seat on the tarmac at o’hare,” she tweeted just before midnight. 

A bulk of the cancellations were reported at O’Hare Airport, according to officials. 

American Airlines said in a statement that severe weather impacted their operations, leaving some flights delayed and others canceled. 

The airline said there were no extended tarmac delays and that AA Flight 1310 was on the tarmac for 1 hour and 59 minutes.

“We apologize for any disruption to our customers, we are going to try and get them out on their way as soon as possible,” the statement read. 

Company policy indicates that an aircraft can remain on the tarmac at a U.S. airport for more than three hours on demostic flights and more than four hours on international flights. 

Periods of scattered showers and thunderstorms, some becoming strong to severe, developed in Chicago’s far west suburbs early Wednesday afternoon. 

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were issued across the area, from west central McHenry County to Cook County and Newton and Jasper counties in Indiana. The National Weather Service warned of quarter-size hail, high wind gusts and wind damage to roofs, siding and trees in those areas.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued across the Chicago area into northwest Indiana until 8 p.m.

Some passengers said their flights to Chicago were delayed up to five hours before taking off and more than an hour on the tarmac before they managed to deplane. But after all that, some also reported big delays in getting their luggage.

“Oy, landed at O’Hare only to find we have to sit on the tarmac for over an hour waiting for a gate,” Catherine Bracy tweeted. “There are planes stuck at the gates without crews. The crews that could move those planes are stuck on the planes at the tarmac.”

“I’m very tired, very hungry, very crabby but I’m here,” passenger Leah Treslley told NBC 5.

As of Thursday morning, 105 flights remained canceled at O’Hare and six were canceled at Midway. 

Published 31 minutes ago | Updated 8 minutes ago

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