The Greater Rockford Airport came to the rescue when the skies were un-safe to fly. Passengers who weren't on United Airline or American Airline planes, we're on the phone making calls finding a method of travel by land. Nine were diverted to the Greater Rockford Airport from O'Hare.
Passengers say they started to land and then got caught in a hailstorm so the plane pulled back into the sky. Here in Rockford, air traffic control got word from O'Hare that possibly 20 planes would need to land due to inclement weather.
Operations Supervisor Tom Johnson says, “It's the closest airport they could get into that could handle that type of aircraft. A 777 is a very large airplane but we can handle any airplane."
Ground crews worked to re-fuel the planes while waiting to get clearance from O'Hare. Passengers had the choice to wait out the storm or make other arrangements. One of the planes was traveling from Boston and most on board live in and around the Chicago area.
Passenger David Baker needs to head to the suburbs and says, "it's going to be tricky to get home since there's no rental cars here." But it wasn't an inconvenience for all ticket holders. For Jeanette Allen Rockford is where she ultimately wanted to end up to visit relatives. The only problem is her husband is waiting at O’Hare.
After about two hours, the captain got the go ahead and these nine aircraft took off to get in the long line-up of planes waiting to land after the storm.