Some SFO travelers see impact to flights after FAA system outage grounds planes across US

"I was supposed to have a layover, like seven-hour layover. Now I have 13-hour layover. I was super jet lagged."

Gloria Rodríguez Image
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Some SFO travelers see impact to flights due to FAA ground stop
Some travelers at San Francisco International Airport felt the impact after an FAA system outage caused U.S. flights to be grounded or delayed.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Bianca Roche's grandparents' flight from SFO was delayed almost an hour because of Wednesday morning's FAA ground stop.

"They're supposed to go to Tampa but because of the outage the plane isn't here yet and it's still in Seattle or flying over here," Roche said.

The FAA ordered a nationwide pause on all domestic departures until 6 a.m. on Wednesday, after a computer failure impacted flights around the country. The system affected send-out flight hazards and real-time restrictions to pilots.

A spokesperson for San Francisco International said about 20% of flights there were delayed as of about 10 a.m. and there were 23 cancellations, but that it was unclear how many were due to the ground stop. The spokesperson mentioned there was inclement weather Wednesday as well, which also causes delays and cancellations on its own.

RELATED: Ground stop on US flights lifted after system failure prompts FAA to order pause on departures

Surabhi Madhvapathy showed ABC7 a text United Airlines sent her, saying her flight to Chicago was delayed because they were resolving a technology issue.

"My flight is delayed by 30 minutes," Madhvapathy said. "I hope everything gets back in order soon."

Teresa Chang said she was told her United flight to Dallas was delayed because of technical issues. Then she says they rebooked her flight because the crew needed a rest.

She flew from Taiwan to SFO.

"My original plan was already pretty bad," Chang said. "I was supposed to have a layover, like seven-hour layover. Now I have 13-hour layover. I was super jet lagged.. I feel really tired now."

For Roche, the temporary FAA pause on departures meant spending a little more time with Grandma Anne and Grandpa Bob.

"That's nice because I don't see them a lot since they live in Tampa, so that's nice to see them," Roche said.

After this story aired Madhvapathy says her flight actually ended up leaving on time and did not get delayed after all. She says the pilot announced he received clearance to depart.

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