Today, the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) system, known as the Notice to Air Missions system (NOTAM for short), is suffering widespread failure. This means that hundreds of flights are experiencing massive delays, with many a traveler left sitting on the tarmac. Read on to learn more!
In short, if you're traveling today (and perhaps tomorrow), expect significant delays and even cancellations. According to CNBC, "Over 400 flights were delayed within, into, or out of the United States as of Wednesday 5.31 am ET," meaning a ton of flights are being delayed just because the NOTAM system is not updating as it should.
A NOTAM is a type of communication from the FAA that lets pilots and all involved know essential information for any flight, and had to be reviewed before flight. As I understand it, NOTAMs can include just about any kind of practical information, be it weather-related, construction-related, or something else relevant to commandeering a massive flying machine through the sky.
There are already reports of travelers sitting on tarmacs from DCA to LAX, and there's likely many more across the country. If you have travel planned for today, get ready to sit tight, and consider rescheduling. Upon looking through a few US-based airline websites, I didn't see any system-wide waivers in place yet, but I'd be willing to bet that if you can get in touch with your airline (social media messaging is great for this), they'd probably accommodate you without charge.