Poor air quality and the threat of severe thunderstorms are causing cancellations and delays to build at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Thursday.
According to FlightAware, O’Hare inbound flights are currently delayed at their origin for an average of 1 hour and 20 minutes. Close to 20% of all of O’Hare’s outbound and inbound flights are delayed on Thursday, while cancellations top 100.
The other major Chicago airport, Midway, is also experiencing significant delays—the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has an average 80-minute ground delay in place through 10 p.m. because of thunderstorms.
United Airlines, which has its hub at O'Hare, earlier this week placed blame on the FAA for an inordinate about of cancellations in the New York area last weekend.
In a message to employees on Monday, United CEO Scott Kirby said that he was “frustrated that the FAA frankly failed us this weekend,” a day after hundreds of flights were canceled at New York area airports. Kirby said that the weather was something that airports like Newark, one of United’s hubs, were “historically…able to manage” and that the FAA shouldn’t have had to order flight cancellations.
According to United, the FAA reduced the arrival rate at Newark by 40% and the departure rates by 75%, and more than 150,000 United customers were impacted by the cancellations.