Sub-zero temps result in thousands of cancelled flights

An electronic board shows flight delays and cancellations at O'Hare International Airport after a winter snowstorm. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, Ill. — More than 2,000 flights had been cancelled nationwide as of midday Wednesday, according to FlightAware, as double-digit subzero temperatures envelope parts of the Midwest.

About 1,300 of Wednesday’s canceled flights were at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, one of the nation’s busiest airports. O’Hare also had the most delays in the nation Wednesday, according to FlightAware. The temperature at the airport early Wednesday was negative 23 degrees, but wind chills there made it feel as cold as negative 57 degrees.

While there were no specific numbers immediately available for the Indianapolis International Airport, airport officials advised via Twitter Wednesday morning of “some delays and cancellations, check with your airline.”

United Airlines spokesman Charlie Hobart said “everything tends to slow down” during severely cold weather, including manpower, fueling and equipment. Hobart called the temperatures “dangerous.” He said United was bringing in extra workers to help and has provided heated tents for employees.

If you’re planning to fly, officials said you’ll want to check with your airline before heading to the airport.

Authorities have warned against venturing outside amid the dangerously cold weather, which is also affecting other forms of travel such as roadways and rail service.

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