Midway Airport basically shut down due to fog

February 4, 2008 8:54:05 PM PST
Thick fog forced Midway Airport to ground most of its flights Monday. One airline, Southwest, has cancelled its remaining flights for the rest of the day.

Southwest passengers will need to reschedule or get a refund.

The fog situation worsened as the afternoon went on. If it doesn't qualify as a "pea soup" fog, it's close.

Only three planes departed Midway after 1:30 Monday afternoon and none arrived. The hope had been that the fog might begin to lift, but the opposite happened, and that's led to many canceled travel plans.

"I'm trying to go to Overland Park, Kansas, and we're stranded," said Debbie Petranek, traveler.

People are trying to get home, and they can't, at least not now. The fog is the villain, nearly every flight canceled in and out of Midway, and passengers have been bumped later and later.

"The 11 o'clock flight this morning was canceled, rescheduled for 2:20 this afternoon, which was also canceled. They put us on a 5:20 this afternoon flight, and then canceled the rest of the flights," said Jim Predl, traveler.

The fog is more of a problem at Midway than O'Hare, because bad weather landing restrictions at Midway require three-fourths of a mile visibility. And although the pea soup thickness has changed thickness throughout the day, it has not given three-quarter mile visibility. As of 4 p.m., the ABC7 Weather Center estimated visibility at Midway to be about one-eighth of a mile.

Most of the Southwest passengers ABC7 spoke to Monday said they were bumped and are now scheduled on flights Tuesday morning. If the weather is as poor as is expected, it could be slow-going.

If you are flying out of O'Hare you'll want to check on your flight. Delays averaged 90 minutes for flights in and out of the airport Monday. About 500 flights have been cancelled there due to the weather.