United Airlines Flight Slides Past Gate at O'Hare

At 7:45 a.m., just as snow began blanketing the city, the airplane skidded from the runway with about 164 passengers on board

A United Airlines flight arriving in Chicago slid off its runway while landing at O’Hare International Airport Wednesday morning.

At 7:45 a.m., just as snow began blanketing the city, United Airlines Flight 1977 from Seattle skidded beyond the turning point toward the gate, airline officials said.

The snowfall by 8 a.m. was reported to have been reducing visibility on area roadways down below a mile near O'Hare and Midway, as well as in DuPage, Aurora and Morris.

The Boeing 737 made a safe landing and at 9:30 a.m. and was being towed back to its intended gate with about 164 passengers on board, an airline spokesperson said. No injuries were reported.

The plane was scheduled to land at the airport just before 5 a.m.

Several passengers said crew members remained calm and handled the incident "smoothly."

"I didn't know we were that close until the pilot made an announcement," said Ken Sajesk of Park Ridge. "No one was scared it seems like. Two kids were in first class and didn't make a sound."

Many passengers expressed frustration over the delays they experienced during the flight, however, claiming they sat on the runway for roughly two hours after the incident. 

Crews at O'Hare were working to de-ice the runway grounds while authorities investigate the cause of the incident.

"United employees at Chicago O'Hare are accommodating customers from flight 1977, which arrived at the gate at 9:30 a.m.," the airline said in a statement. "The aircraft landed safely at O'Hare and, due to runway conditions at that time, the aircraft stopped just beyond the runway's turnoff point. The aircraft did not leave the pavement."

Flight Aware
Flight Aware shows United Airlines Flight 1977 path of landing.
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