To be stranded at an airport with kids

It’ll be quite awhile before the air transportation system is back to normal following today’s fire in the Chicago air traffic control center in Aurora, Ill.

The controllers have been sent home, many flights (all flights in the case of Southwest) to/from Chicago are canceled and that leaves thousands of passengers waiting in lines at the airport.

There, it’s about the kids. So far, so good. Parents seem to be smiling.

Getty Images
Ann Walden checks her phone as 15 month-old daughter Delphine plays while waiting in-line after their flight to Baton Rouge was delayed at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. All flights in and out of Chicago’s two airports were halted Friday after a fire at a suburban air traffic control facility sent delays and cancellations rippling through the U.S. air travel network. Authorities said the blaze was intentionally set by a contract employee of the Federal Aviation Administration and had no ties to terrorism. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Kanna Ortiz 4, waits in a line after her flight back home to New Jersey was delayed at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. All flights in and out of Chicago’s two airports were halted Friday after a fire at a suburban air traffic control facility sent delays and cancellations rippling through the U.S. air travel network. Authorities said the blaze was intentionally set by a contract employee of the Federal Aviation Administration and had no ties to terrorism. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Jim G

    Bob, what does today’s fire at the control center mean for you personally? I’m assuming you’re still out east waiting for good weather.

    • Doesn’t mean anything. I flew back Tuesday morning. It doesn’t really impact anybody flying VFR (non instrument). I did use Chicago Center on the trip down to monitor my progress (I used Mpls Center, Rockford Approach, Chicago Approach, Chicago Center, South Bend Approach, Fort Wayne Approach, Toledo Approach, Cleveland Approach, Cleveland Center, Erie Approach and New York Center… so you can see how many of these there are) and call out traffic, but did not use it on the way back.. Center provides radar services on request on a workload-permitting basis.

      I doubt those services are being provided this afternoon but it’s really not that big of a deal. You just keep your eyes open, which you would anyway.

      • Jim G

        I’m looking at Tuesday’s posts. You flew across half the country and kept up a full day’s work. You’re good… real good.

        • I was waiting out the weather in Elmira so I was able to do some there. Then the weather cleared enough for me to make a run for it and stay relatively low to the ground so I was able to get to Valpairaiso, so I did one post there while refueling and then made the run back to South St. Paul.

          Let Elmira around 12 EDT and was back in the stable by 6 CT.

          • Jim G

            That’s making good time. Being bitten by the flying bug has its advantages. In another life I had family near Valparaiso. It usually took me ten hours of travel from the Twin Cities. Fighting the Chicago rush hours made it an exhausting drive. Congratulations on your successful adventure!

        • Whoops. My wife reminds me that I didn’t fly back on Tuesday. I flew back on Monday.

          • Jim G

            Forgetting dates is a hazard for all of us over 60. I forgot to attend a church meeting this morning. When I don’t use Outlook to schedule my life, entropy increases exponentially. You’re still good… real good? Ask your wife.

  • clost

    Better to be stuck at the airport with room for kids to expend energy and food courts to feed them, than in an airplane.

  • Sarah

    This means my guests can’t fly in tomorrow to go to the MN Orchestra concert; flights are cancelled all over the Midwest.

  • tboom

    Hope this doesn’t mess-up Jenna’s trip to Charleston.