Rare heavy fog event delayed dozens of flights at Oakland International Airport

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Rare fog delayed dozens of flights at Oakland International Airport
Dozens of flights were delayed on Monday due to heavy fog at Oakland International Airport.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- It was a frustrating day for people to fly into or out of Oakland International Airport on Monday. Scores of flights were delayed or canceled due a pocket of heavy fog.

"It was the worst flight ever," said one unnamed passenger.

Passengers had plenty of tales of travel woe to share because of what officials at Oakland Airport called "an irregular fog pattern." A dense bubble of fog shrouded the airport all morning while everywhere else nearby was sunny.

It was a ghost town at baggage claim by mid-morning. By midday, all the delayed flights finally started landing.

At 11 a.m., Oakland Airport reported 22 departures were delayed and 24 arrivals delayed, with a few cancellations. But the effect rippled into the afternoon.

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By 2 p.m., the tally was 40 incoming delays and 51 outbound delays with plenty of stories to tell.

"We actually tried to land here in Oakland first and the pilot pulled out to say 'nope can't do it.' And then we tried San Francisco and got rerouted to San Jose," said passenger Chad Brunskill.

"They said we're running out of fuel, we've got to go to SFO. Got to SFO and they said 'hold on we'll figure it out,'" said Sammy Salazar.

"Then they said, we're going to deplane. We don't know when this plane is going anywhere, and we can't compensate you for anything so figure it out."

Cicely Phillips is going to try to recoup his $70 Lyft ride to retrieve his parked car at Oakland Airport.

"There was no transparent communication between the pilot, onboard staff, and the airport staff to actually give the customers correct information," he said.

Leslie Brinkley: "You sat on the plane for 4 hours?"

Jessica Nunez: "4 hours."

Leslie Brinkley: "And they wouldn't let you off?"

Jessica Nunez: "You could at your own risk, but I didn't want to take a risk so a lot of us just sat there."

San Francisco International Airport is more notorious for fog delays. But Monday was apparently a rare bird.

"Usually our Oakland is fortunate in the fact that weather delays are not common, so yes today was an unusual circumstance."

Always check with your airline carrier for the latest on delays and cancellations.

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