Inside United’s O’Hare’s operation amid the coronavirus pandemic

WGN Investigates

CHICAGO —On a typical day, 120,000 people will fly in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on United Airlines. 

But now with the COVID-19 pandemic, these are not typical times. 

These days United is flying only 6,000 passengers per day through Chicago. No one is sure when the numbers will rebound.

Farrel Williams is a customer service representative with United.

“Today you walk down the concourse and it’s empty,’ he said. “That’s so eerie.”   

Even if you aren’t a frequent flyer, the fate of Chicago’s hometown airline hits close to home.  The airline employs 16,000 people in our area and 90,000 across the globe.

The quiet in the terminals extends out onto the tarmac and into the skies. 

“I sometimes feel like, ‘Are we on the wrong frequency?’ because there are times nobody is talking out there,” United Captain Anne Foley said.  

WGN was given exclusive access inside United’s operation at O’Hare.  Click on the video link above to see the full story.  

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