FAA outage causes over 10,000 delays and cancellations for travelers Wednesday

Every flight in the United States grounded for the first time since the September 11 terror attacks.
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 5:22 PM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Every flight in the United States grounded for the first time since the September 11 terror attacks. At one point, more than 10,000 flights across the country were delayed or cancelled.

FOX5 cameras at Harry Reid International Airport captured the moments before planes started taking flight again just before 9 a.m. Wednesday morning. For some passengers, the ripple effects continued well past that.

“Our flight was supposed to leave at 6 a.m.,” said traveler Chad Lewiston.

6 a.m. turned into 11:30 a.m. for travelers Chad and Kelli Lewiston when trying to get from Minnesota to Vegas.

“We sat for an hour on the plane and then we were asked to exit the plane due to an FAA shutdown,” said Chad Lewiston.

The FAA’s notice to air missions’ system alerts pilots of conditions that could affect the safety of their flights experienced an outage that grounded thousands of flights starting at 3:30 Wednesday morning.

“I looked out and saw one of the grounds people put chalks back under the wheels and I said we are not going anywhere,” said Kelli Lewiston.

Others also experienced significant delays and for one traveler it felt all too familiar.

“We had a flight scheduled for December 29th for New Year’s and it was cancelled,” said traveler Lina Edwards.

“We just arrived about three and a half hours late,” said traveler Kathleen Walkmaster. “Everything is kind of screwed up. We were sitting on the runway for about 30 minutes trying to get into a spot.”

For Kelli and Chad Lewiston, they are just glad they finally made it to Vegas.

“We were afraid because even if it was delayed or canceled, we might not have a way to get home because of the weather,” said Kelli Lewiston. “They canceled so many means of transportation in Minnesota.”

In terms of fixing the issue, the FAA’s said its next steps will be to find the root cause of the system outage.

Even though there was a ground stop, all planes were allowed to land if they were in the air.