Chicago Snow Causes Nationwide Air Traffic Delays as 460 Flights Canceled

United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL), AMR Corp. (AAMRQ)’s American Airlines and Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) canceled more than 460 flights in Chicago as a snowstorm moves through the area and delays ripple throughout the nation.

United, the world’s largest carrier, scrubbed 200 flights at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, including 20 percent of flights on its main jet fleet and 25 percent by regional partners, said Mary Ryan, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based company.

Ninety-minute delays were reported at Chicago’s O’Hare earlier today, while New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia each had hour-long delays for some flights because of wind and low visibility, respectively, according to FlightAware.com, which tracks flight data. More than 840 flights have been canceled across the U.S. today, the site said.

Snow accumulations may reach 8 inches in the Chicago area, said Charles Mott, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Romeoville, Illinois. The weather service has issued winter storm warnings and advisories stretching across the Midwest.

A winter weather advisory means falling snow will make travel difficult. A winter storm warning means significant snowfall is expected and travel will be dangerous.

American Airlines and its American Eagle regional carrier scrubbed 166 flights, Mary Frances Fagan, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. O’Hare is a hub for American and United Continental.

Southwest said it stopped all service at Midway Airport between 1 and 6 p.m. That amounted to about 100 flights, the Chicago Department of Aviation said in a statement.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mary Schlangenstein in Dallas at maryc.s@bloomberg.net; Mary Jane Credeur in Atlanta at mcredeur@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.