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Fallout From Airport Snag: Shortage Of Rental Cars

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(CBS) – A problem at Chicago’s airports earlier in the week may have spilled over into Thursday for some travellers.

On Tuesday, smoke at an air traffic control facility disrupted travel at both Chicago airports, grounding hundreds of flights and stranding passengers, forcing many of them to rent cars.

That may have led to a serious shortage of rental cars, according to John Simone, a passenger who flew into Midway from New Jersey on Thursday for his son’s graduation from Purdue University. He was stuck in line at a car rental counter.

He estimates at one point there were more than 100 people in line.

Car Rental Shortage After Airport Jam

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“People haven’t brought their cars back. Because people, I guess, couldn’t get flights out on Tuesday and they didn’t bring their cars back yet and evidently there isn’t enough cars,” he tells WBBM Newsradio’s Terry Keshner.

“A lot of frustrated people trying to get to where they need to get to,” he adds. “They should have canvassed the area and brought back cars that they have at other facilities.”

A sign posted at the counter said only reservations booked prior to Thursday would be accepted.

WBBM has reached out for comment from the car rental company.

The Chicago Department of Aviation says it was aware of a problem but says only the car rental company would be able to confirm what the problem was.