Tag Archives: Midway Airport

More than 500 flights canceled as snow falls across Chicago

(CHICAGO) More than 500 flights have been canceled as Chicago prepares for up to 4 inches of snow by Monday afternoon.

As of 6 a.m. Monday, 411 flights were canceled at O’Hare International Airport and 98 flights had been canceled at Midway International Airport, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. Delays at O’Hare were averaging about 31 minutes, while delays at Midway were less than 15 minutes.

Snow started falling at O’Hare about 9:45 p.m. Sunday, but less than an inch had accumulated by 1 a.m. Monday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Donofrio. By 5:45 a.m., 2 inches of snow had fallen in north suburban Evanston and northwest suburban Woodstock.

A winter weather advisory was in effect until 1 p.m. Monday, with between 2 and 4 inches of snow accumulations expected in Lake, DuPage and Cook counties. Visibility will be reduced during periods of heavy snowfall and could make for difficult driving conditions, the weather service warned.

“The intensity of the snow will vary from time to time until (Monday) morning,” said meteorologist Gino Izzi. “It seems pretty likely we’ll be experiencing snow during rush hour, so I would plan on a longer than usual commute.”

Izzi said this will be the first time Chicago has recorded at least 1 inch of snow since Dec. 17, 2016, marking the city’s longest streak without snow ever recorded during the winter.

Lake effect snow could then develop Monday evening and continue overnight into Tuesday, adding to snowfall accumulations, the weather service said. Lake effect snow, which can produce very heavy snowfall, sometimes in excess of 2 inches per hour, could continue periodically through Tuesday afternoon.

Temperatures were expected to reach a high of about 30 degrees on Monday, the weather service said. The chance of snow was about 100 percent on Monday, with wind gusts as high as 20 mph. A high near 27 degrees was expected Tuesday, with an 80 percent chance of snow.

The city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation deployed 287 snow plows overnight to tackle the snowy weather. The plows focus on salting and plowing arterial routes to ensure the roads are safe before moving to neighborhood streets, if necessary.

While Chicago braced for its first snowfall in months, larger snowstorms were expected on the East Coast. A blizzard watch was issued for the Boston area, with 12 to 18 inches of snow expected to fall over eastern Massachusetts as well as central and southern Rhode Island, according to the weather service.

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Woman suing Southwest Airlines after slipping out of wheelchair at Midway Airport

(CHICAGO) A woman who slipped out of a wheelchair being pushed by a Southwest Airlines employee at Chicago Midway International Airport in May has filed a lawsuit against the airline and the city of Chicago.

Rosemary Hastings filed the negligence lawsuit Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court.

On May 17, Hastings was being assisted by a Southwest employee while boarding a flight from Midway Airport to Washington, according to the lawsuit.

The employee was pushing her wheelchair down the jetway to the airplane when she began to slip and asked the employee to stop, the suit claims. But the employee did not stop the chair and Hastings was injured.

The lawsuit claims Southwest was negligent because employee pushed the wheelchair forward down the slope of the jetway instead of backing down, and proceeded with the wheelchair at a high rate of speed. Hastings also claims the employee failed to maintain proper control over the wheelchair and did not keep a proper lookout for her safety.

The lawsuit also claims an unreasonably dangerous condition for wheelchair traffic exists at Midway, and the city has failed to remedy the situation, constituting a “conscious disregard for the safety of passengers in wheelchairs at Midway International Airport.”

The two-count lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

The city has not yet been served with the suit, said city Department of Law spokesman John Holden, who declined to comment on it Thursday evening.

A representative from Southwest Airlines also declined to comment on the suit.

Lemont woman arrested with loaded gun at Midway

                                                                         Faith Du Bois / photo credit: Chicago Police

(Chicago)  A southwest suburban woman was arrested Sunday morning after TSA agents found a loaded gun in her carry-on bag at Midway International Airport.

A TSA officer saw what appeared to be a loaded weapon in 58-year-old Faith Du Bois’ bag in the x-ray machine at Midway at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, according to a statement from Chicago Police.

Du Bois, of the 800 block of Woodcrest Lane in Lemont, was arrested and charged with one felony count of boarding an aircraft with a weapon, police said.

According to a statement from the TSA, Du Bois was en route to Southwest Florida International Airport. The gun was a loaded 9 mm Walther.

The gun is the third firearm discovered in carry-on luggage at Midway in 2015, according to the TSA. Last year, six firearms were discovered at Midway.

Du Bois was scheduled to appear in bond court Monday.

© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC |

TSA found 26 guns at Chicago airport checkpoints in 2014

(CHICAGO) Transportation Security Administration officials seized 26 guns that people tried to bring onto planes at Chicago’s airports last year.

In 2014, 20 guns were seized at the security checkpoint at O’Hare International Airport, according to end-of-year statistics released by the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security. Six guns were detected at the checkpoint at Midway International Airport.

The O’Hare total is up from 16 guns detected in 2013, while the Midway number dropped from the previous year’s 13, the TSA said.

Nationwide, 2,212 firearms were found in carry-on bags at security checkpoints, and 83 percent of those were loaded, the TSA said.

While it is legal to travel with firearms, TSA regulations require that weapons be kept unloaded in a hard-sided, locked case within checked luggage. Passengers must also declare any packed guns to the airlines.

© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC

Southwest fined $1.6 million for tarmac delays at Midway last winter

(Chicago)  Federal officials Thursday fined Southwest Airlines $1.6 million for trapping passengers on the tarmac on 16 flights at Midway Airport for more than three hours last January.

The fine is the largest civil penalty ever imposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation for violation of tarmac-delay rules, the Sun-Times is reporting.

Those rules ban airlines from holding domestic flights on a tarmac for more than three hours without giving passengers an opportunity to leave the plane. Exceptions are allowed only for safety, security and air traffic control issues.

Federal officials contend Southwest experienced tarmac delays of more than three hours on Jan. 2 and 3, 2014. A malfunction of the crew scheduling system and an unexpected staff shortage hurt the airline’s ability to clear aircraft from its Midway gates, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In addition, a “severe weather event at Midway” contributed to delays, the agency said.

Chicago was hit with a snow storm on Jan. 2, 2014, followed by temperatures so low on Jan. 6 and 7 the period was dubbed “Chiberia.”

— Chicago Sun-Times

© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC