CHICAGO — A temporary ground stop issued on Sunday evening caused headaches for some Southwest flyers at Chicago’s Midway International Airport.
According to the FAA, the ground stop was issued due to gate issues and only impacted Southwest flyers.
It all comes after several flights departing from Midway were canceled on Christmas Eve morning due to the fog.
At 6:30 a.m., visibility at Midway was .5 miles and visibility at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport was 5 miles.
At 7:20 a.m., a ground stop was issued at Midway.
Several Southwest Airlines and Frontier flights are canceled through 9 a.m.
On Saturday evening and Sunday morning, a ground stop was issued at Midway due to the fog. It turned into a ground delay around 11 a.m. Sunday, but less than two hours later, a ground stop was in effect again.
Southwest released the following statement to WGN-TV.
We’re working with our Customers whose travel is impacted by fog at Chicago Midway that began Saturday night and prevented inbound aircraft from landing, forcing some diversions and subsequent flight cancelations. With visibility remaining below required operational minimums throughout the night and expected to continue through daybreak, we’ve modified our planned start for today (Sunday) at Chicago Midway. We have all-hands on deck as our Employees are working quickly to take care of our Customers and accommodate them on alternative flights.
Chicago Midway is our fourth busiest airport operation, with more than 200 departures a day scheduled over the holiday weekend. As a result of the fog at Midway, we have canceled less than 1% of our total flights early on Sunday (53 out of 4242) throughout our network.
Passengers flying out of Chicago’s airports should check their flight status with their airline.
Steven Cosentino is one of several Southwest passengers who were trying to fly out of Midway on Sunday but were instead faced with delays or cancelations due to the fog.
His flight was supposed to take off at 7:30 a.m.
“Yeah, we’re stuck waiting at this point,” Cosentino said. “It’s kind of an unknown if we’re even going to be able to see family this year.”
Other passengers whose flights are scheduled later in the afternoon showed up with high hopes their trip won’t be impacted.
“We were a little worried with the fog this morning coming from Davenport but we made it so far,” Shelia Abbott said.