Ripple effect: Flight delays reported in Chicago due to poor air quality on East Coast

Poor air quality on the East Coast due to Canadian wildfires is postponing sporting events, as well as causing flight delays in the Midwest, including in Chicago.

On Wednesday, a ground stoppage at major airports – like in New York – created a ripple effect on air travel. Fortunately, the stoppage was short-lived, and operations were gradually resuming.

"You can’t see which is very surprising when you are sitting in the concourse waiting for your plane, and you can’t see the baggage trucks on the tarmac," said Beth, who’s from the Chicago suburbs and was traveling home through New Jersey on Wednesday.

"Very unearthly looking and you could smell the smoke in the building, even though the building is air-conditioned."

At Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, there were only a few delays reported.


According to transportation experts, a potential crisis was averted despite major delays in and out of New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. So far, O'Hare and LaGuardia airports have seen only two canceled flights and around two dozen delayed flights.

Chicago's Midway Airport has experienced a similar situation.

"Passengers are expecting the worst when these things happen," said Joe Schwieterman, a transportation expert with DePaul University. "This could be a sign of a sort of new threat or system with these wildfires."

The impact of the poor air quality extends to sports as well. Wednesday night's Yankees-White Sox game has been rescheduled to Thursday afternoon due to the air quality concerns in the Big Apple. This decision prioritizes the well-being and safety of players, staff, and fans alike.