Hundreds of Flights Delayed, Canceled at San Francisco Airport

Construction on the airport’s busiest runway has snarled operations at SFO.

Hundreds of Flights Delayed, Canceled at San Francisco Airport

Flights have been delayed in and out of the airport, which is the busiest in the Bay Area.

Photo by J Hopwood/Shutterstock

If you’re flying out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO), it may pay to stock up on another novel (or three) from Hudson News: The airport is currently experiencing a number of significant delays in and out of the airport due to construction work on its busiest runway, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Construction on runway 28L began on Saturday, September 7, and travelers immediately felt the impact: 244 flights were delayed and 103 flights were canceled, reported local San Francisco news station ABC 7. One day later, on Sunday, there were 366 delays and 114 cancellations, and by 9 a.m. PST Monday, there were more than 114 cancellations and more than 150 delays, mostly due to the runway maintenance.

And construction isn’t stopping anytime soon: Instead, it will take workers three weeks to build a new base of rock and cement below a stretch of the airport’s second-longest runway, which was found to be cracking because of its high volume of traffic. Construction is officially scheduled to end on September 27.

When SFO announced the construction, the airport warned of delays averaging 30 to 45 minutes and as long as two hours for flights departing after 9 a.m. But frustrated fliers have taken to social media to say they’ve been delayed for much longer than that.

Hey I’m yelling at to you @AmericanAir! There is a whole group of really angry passengers who have been sitting at #jfk since mid afternoon trying to get to #SFO. You need to make this right! DM me. — George H. Leonard (@GeorgeHLeonard) September 9, 2019

How to beat the delays? If you need to fly out of SFO in the next few weeks, look to book a flight before 9 a.m., when the delays begin accumulating. Check with your airline, too—some, like United, are allowing select passengers to reschedule free of charge.

>>Next: How to Survive an Insanely Long Travel Delay

Katherine LaGrave is a deputy editor at AFAR focused on features and essays.
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