Locals, travelers respond to grounded flights

Several members of Chattanooga Tourism Company affected in Texas, Ohio

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — If your flight was either severely delayed or outright canceled this morning, you’re not alone.

CBS News reports that an “overnight outage at the Federal Aviation Administration delayed thousands of flights this morning.”

This morning at the Chattanooga Airport, nearly half a dozen flights were delayed while two flights from Chicago and Charlotte were canceled.

Chattanooga Tourism Company President and CEO Barry White says some of his employees were also directly impacted.

CBS News reports that “all flight departures from the U.S. shortly after 7 a.m. eastern time” were halted by the FAA.

Naturally, travelers weren’t enthusiastic.

“Our secretary, Buttigieg, needs to get his act together,” said one.

“I’m really upset but what can I do?” said another.

“It makes you kind of nervous — is there something else that maybe we’re not being told right now?” said yet another in Newark Liberty Intl. Airport.

On Twitter, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said there was “no evidence of a cyberattack” Wednesday morning.

The safety of passengers was also on the mind of White, who welcomes in numerous travelers every year.

“Of course, we hope that there is no malintent that’s been taking place, and these are just glitches in the system,” White said. “That happens with every bit of technology from our phone to the entire airport system.”

White says travel arrangements for some of his employees were directly altered due to the system outage.

Some team members in Texas had to change flights.

Others in Columbus, Ohio, chose to drive eight hours back home.

“We hope that the FAA and others can learn what’s happened, make corrections [and] try to prevent it in the future,” White said. “It’s obviously a major disruption to the entire country both from a leisure side, a business side. I don’t think it should interrupt people’s travel plans. We just need to be prepared. We need to be flexible and understand that certain things happen that we cannot control. It’s time we work through those — it is up to us.”

CBS News further reported Wednesday morning that the departure ban for all aircraft was lifted right before 9 a.m.

“At that time, there were more than 4,000 delays within, into or out of the United States.”

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