Can you guess how many calls American took after FAA Chicago fire?

If you were on hold with a major airline for a long time after an arsonist set fire to a Chicago-area air traffic control center last week, you were not alone. 

American Airlines said Thursday that it handled 145,069 phone calls on Sept. 26, roughly 26,000 more than on the previous day. American was forced to cancel more than 1,700 flights in the days after the early-morning incident. 

Travelers periodically ask me what to do to get rebooked when thousands of flights are cancelled. Despite this news, I'd say your best bet is still to call reservations. You might wait on hold for an hour or more, but it's usually better than standing in line at the airport. I recommend putting the hold music on speaker and trying to do something else while you wait. 

In this Oct. 2 photo, FAA technicians remove soot and other fire debris from sensitive equipment. Photo: FAA. 

In this Oct. 2 photo, FAA technicians remove soot and other fire debris from sensitive equipment. Photo: FAA. 


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