Carol Frederick missed her chance Wednesday morning at O’Hare Airport.
The 64-year-old Villa Park woman decided not to check her bags after her flight was delayed. I remembered the pile of suitcases during the recent turmoil at Southwest Airlines.
“I don’t want to go home without my suitcase,” said Frederick, worried that his flight would be cancelled.
At 9am, the American Airlines flight to Phoenix was delayed about two hours. She was on her way to see her new grandson, she said.
“That’s the reality. I hope it comes out,” she said.
Airplanes have been grounded for hours nationwide due to a cascade of government system shutdowns that have delayed or canceled thousands of flights across the United States.
The White House initially said there was no evidence of a cyberattack behind the blackouts that ruined the travel plans of millions of passengers. Stated.
Despite the Federal Aviation Administration’s problems, the line at O’Hare Airport didn’t seem too long Wednesday morning.
Brothers Matthew and Brandon Sharpe had just arrived from Michigan and made an emergency trip to Oklahoma to visit their dying brother. While they were waiting for their flight to be delayed, they learned that their brother had died.
They said even if the flight had been on time, they wouldn’t have been in time to say goodbye to their brother, Byron Delaney.
“It’s just frustrating. My niece [Delaney’s daughter] I’m still waiting at the terminal,” said Matthew Sharp.
Ultimately, the brothers decided not to fly to Oklahoma on Wednesday, even though they purchased tickets.
“I decided not to go in case I had to go back for the funeral,” Matthew Sharp said.
Monica Birnbaum, 65, of Northbrook was en route to Zurich, Switzerland after a layover in Newark, New Jersey, to see her daughter perform with Team USA’s synchronized skating team.
Her flight was scheduled to depart at 10 a.m., but was delayed by about two hours due to a ground stop, she said.
“I want to go to Switzerland and I hope everything goes well,” she said.
A grand stop led to flight cancellations for Wisconsin native Megan Cookehan, her 10-year-old son, and boyfriend Benjamin Disher. They headed to Jamaica for Cook Kang’s sister’s wedding.
“We were supposed to be on the plane already, but here we are sitting at the airport,” Cookekan said. rice field. But other people who attended her wedding party, including her parents, had trouble finding flights, she said.
Long-time aviation insiders couldn’t recall a shutdown of such magnitude caused by a technology malfunction.
Tim Campbell, former senior vice president of aviation operations for American Airlines and now a consultant in Minneapolis, said: “We’ve had local issues here and there on a regular basis, but this is historically pretty significant.
Whatever the cause, the outage is a testament to how the world’s largest economy depends on air travel, and how air travel depends on an outdated computer system called the Notification System to Air Mission Systems, or NOTAM. clarified.
Before commencing a flight, pilots should consult NOTAM, which lists potential adverse effects on flight, from runway construction to potential icing. The system used to be telephone-based, with pilots seeking information from dedicated flight service stations, but it has gone online.
The NOTAM system malfunctioned late Tuesday, canceling more than 1,000 flights and delaying more than 6,000 flights by 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.
Campbell said he had long had concerns about not only the NOTAM system, but also the Federal Aviation Administration’s technology.
“A lot of their systems are old mainframe systems that are generally reliable, but outdated,” he said.
John Cox, a former airline pilot and aviation safety expert, says there has been talk in the aviation industry for years about modernizing the NOTAM system, but he believes the servers the FAA uses I didn’t know the age of
He could not say whether a cyberattack was possible.
“I’ve been flying for 53 years and have never heard a system go down like this,” Cox says. “So something extraordinary happened.”