The sour polar vortex made swarms of flights to be canceled across the country on Wednesday, with just about 2,000 flights canceled at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports alone.
In total, with a mass of very cold air freezing out the Midwest and Northeast, 3,576 flights were canceled.
As Amtrak suspended service into and out of Chicago, fuel lines at O’Hare Airport froze, forcing a few planes to refuel somewhere else before continuing to their destination, an airport spokeswoman told the Associated Press.American Airlines confirmed to USA Today they experienced issues refueling in the extreme temperatures.
“In (an) attempt to operate as many flights as possible and accommodate as many customers as possible, some flights are being sent in with an overage of fuel to get to their next destination without needing to take on fuel at ORD, and others are departing ORD and making a fuel stop before they reach their final destination,” American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein said in a statement.
The temperature achieved minus 23 at O’Hare International Airport, with a breeze chill of 52 degrees below zero, as per the National Weather Service.
Another 2,159 flights across the countrywide scheduled for Thursday have also been called off, according to flight tracker FlightAware.