CHICAGO (CBS) — For the second day in a row, more than 1,600 flights have been cancelled at Chicago’s airports, amid a record-setting cold snap.
As of 8:25 a.m., 1,448 flights had been cancelled at O’Hare International Airport, and 254 had been cancelled at Midway International Airport.
Delays at both airports were averaging less than 15 minutes.
A spokesperson for American Airlines said the main reason they and most airlines cancel flights is for the safety of baggage handlers, ramp workers and fleet service people who have to be out in the cold.
The number two reason for cancellations is equipment and planes, which stay warm either by being hooked up to power at the gate or staying in a hangar. Fuel lines and water lines can freeze.
The American spokesperson said some flights were sent in to O’Hare with fuel overages Wednesday and Thursday. This prevents the planes from needing to take on more fuel at O’Hare before reaching their next destinations. Other flights were departing O’Hare and making fuel stops before their final destinations.
American Airlines should be able to keep up with fueling flights by tanker Thursday with their reduced schedule, the spokesperson said.