“We’re not going to miss the trip, we’re just delaying it basically:” O’Hare fire impacts Milwaukee travelers

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- For the past several hours on Friday, September 26th, Mitchell International Airport is nearly empty, but it was a much different case earlier today.

A frustrating day, that continued to get worse.

"They just made an announcement, everything is canceled," said traveler, Bill Lubach.

Hundreds of travelers coming and going from Mitchell International Airport, are forced to make other plans.

"I guess I have to find my luggage and go home and hopefully they can book me in the next few days," said Mary Katzer, traveler.

The problem is miles away, a fire at an FAA facility in suburban Chicago is to blame. Canceling hundreds of flights across the country.

It is changing plans, far beyond the airport.

"You never think that a fire in an air traffic control tower is going to impact your festival in Milwaukee," said Jonathan Jackson, organizer

At the Oriental Theatre, organizers of the Milwaukee Film Festival are scrambling.

"Trying to re-route them through other airports," said Jackson.

Hundreds of people are expected to pass through the Milwaukee Film Festival doors. The films are still being played, but at least five featured guests' can't make it. Some directors, producers, and subjects flights have been cancelled.

"It seems like everyone was going through Chicago today, so there were very few options that we could find," said Jackson.

They're not focusing on Saturday, and so is everyone back at the airport.

"We're not going to miss the trip, we're just delaying it basically," said Lubach.

Hoping for better luck a day later.

"It is what it is, we'll move on,"

An airport spokesperson tells FOX6 News, it could take several days for operations to get back to normal.