United to Chicago - "Flow Control"?

Dec 23rd, 2008, 10:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,360
United to Chicago - "Flow Control"?

I suspect this is related to the bad weather in Chicago, but does anybody know what this means?

I'm expecting (with hope dimming) to fly from BWI to ORD tomorrow afternoon on United. I tried to check in online, but while I could check in for my husband on the same itinerary, I can't check myself in (I'm instructed to see an agent at the airport). There is also a notation that the flight is subject to "Flow Control." What does this mean?

(Incidentally, we have assigned seats and have paid for E+).
Callaloo is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2008, 04:34 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 133
I believe flow control means that your flight is subject to delays (sitting at the gate, or on the tarmac) due to the heavy volume of traffic, so be patient.

I would call the airline to find out why you can't check yourself in online.
LMGSONIC is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2008, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,172
With all the bad weather across the nation these last few days there are a huge # of passengers displaced. I would definitely call the airline and speak to a live agent about checking in online. You don't want to show up at the airport tomorrow and find out there's a problem with your ticket that would put you in the back of the queue.
J62 is online now  
Dec 24th, 2008, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 188
Flow control means that the destination airport is slowing down the arrivals rate most likely because of the weather. The aircraft waits on the ground at the departing airport rather than circling in the air when it gets near the destination.
You many not be able to check in online because you are chosen for the dreaded SSSS.
Let us know if you make it and why you couldn't check in online.
Hope you trip goes well.
RonDace is offline  
Dec 26th, 2008, 04:54 AM
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Ron, I was also thinking SSSS. The only times I have been unable to check in online, was because I had been selected for additional security searches.

Keith is offline  
Dec 27th, 2008, 12:50 PM
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Turns out, the reason I wasn't able to check in was because my record had a "security lockout" on it -- all I had to do was show the ticket agent my ID, which she entered into the system, before printing out my boarding pass for me (and I jokingly told her it had better not have "SSS" on it -- and it didn't).

The "flow control" message on the flight stopped showing up on flight status, but we were delayed departing for ORD anyway, as I suspect every other plane heading there was as well -- the weather has been hideous. But, we made it to our festivities on time, and all is well.

Thanks for your help.
Callaloo is offline  
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