Chicago: THOUSANDS of flights cancelled due to deadly polar vortex – latest travel update – Express - https://travelporn.info | luxury travel sitesJanuary 31, 2019 1:01 pm Categorised in: Travel News
Chicago, USA is enduring extreme weather conditions as a polar vortex hits the Illinois city. The temperatures are so low is it life-threatening. Eight deaths have already been reported due to the extreme cold in the Midwest. Flights have been severely disrupted by the freeze, with Chicago O’Hare Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport cancelling hundreds of flights due to the snow and ice.
Passengers are being urged to check ahead with their airline before they travel.
O’Hare tweeted yesterday: “Due to extreme cold weather in #Chicago air carriers at ORD have cancelled over 1,520 flights and are reporting minimal delays. Check flight status with carrier. Stay safe and warm friends.”
At Midway Airport, 167 that were due to depart and 166 that were due to land were cancelled, reported TIME.
The Chicago airport tweeted: “Due to extreme cold weather in #Chicago air carriers at MDW have cancelled nearly 330 flights and are reporting minimal delays.”
Airlines have issued warnings to their passengers, with many of the affected airlines issuing travel waivers to customers.
Southwest serves a huge number of passengers at Midway Airport and cancelled 625 flights yesterday.
They have warned flights will be disrupted in Chicago until tomorrow.
Passengers who have flights booked until 1 February will be able to rebook without paying extra – although there are certain restrictions.
United have warned the Chicago winter weather will affect flights to, from and connecting through O’Hare airport. Yesterday United cancelled 139 flights at the hub.
They have issued a travel waiver for those travelling through 1 February.
American Airlines cancelled 270 flights at O’Hare airport on Wednesday.
Their travel waiver extends until today. “When severe weather or other uncontrollable events impact your flight and travel dates, you may be able to change your trip with no change fee,” the airline stated on their website.”
The waiver covers several cities in the Northeast, including New York City, Newark, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Cleveland, Boston and Toronto.
Delta cancelled flights earlier this week – 170 on Tuesday – but the cut off date for their travel waiver was 30 January, so passengers are no longer eligible.
Why is it so cold in Chicago?
A state of emergency has been declared in Chicago as well as in Wisconsin and Michigan. The brutal chill has been caused by a polar vortex, a band of arctic freezing air which has made its way south.
Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel said: “These conditions are actually a public health risk and you need to treat it appropriately. They are life-threatening conditions and temperatures.”
Classes in most schools and colleges were cancelled in Illinois while a student from the University of Iowa was found dead.
Moreover, residents of Des Moines (Iowa) were advised “to protect lungs” by avoiding “deep breaths and minimise talking”.