I Flew During the FAA Fiasco — and Elite Status Got Me Home

Unless you’ve been offline for the last week, you’ve probably heard about the Federal Aviation Administration’s temporary shutdown of all air traffic.

As a West Coast-based flyer with plans for an in-state trip, I awoke last Wednesday morning to news of widespread flight cancellations and delays. My departure flight was going to leave an hour late, but my return flight later that afternoon would probably be fine, right? Wrong. Let’s talk about it.

What happened to the FAA?

An overnight outage to the FAA’s Notice to Air Mission, or NOTAM, system forced a ground stop of all aircraft until 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11. And while operations gradually resumed as the day progressed, waves of cancellations and flight delays rippled across the country. 

According to flight tracking company FlightAware, more than 10,000 flights in the U.S. were delayed on Jan. 11 as of 8:30 p.m. EST, while nearly 1,200 were canceled.

Preliminary reports indicate that this was all because of a…

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This article was written by Carissa Rawson and originally published on www.nerdwallet.com