As Thanksgiving travelers head out, FAA flight status site goes down

Matt York/AP

Outage comes on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Update, 1:57 p.m. ET: The flight status site is back up.

As Americans headed out on one of the busiest travel days of the year Wednesday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration's online system for reporting on the status of flights and airport delays was down. 

Visitors to the FAA's Airport Status and Delays site were greeted with the following message:

We're sorry
You have reached this page because the site is currently down. Please check back soon, as we are currently working to get the issue resolved.

Thank you,
FAA Web Operations Team

FAA is aware of the outage and working to resolve it, a spokesman said Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, he said, the agency is urging travelers to call their airlines, which operate on separate systems for delay information.

FAA has no information yet on whether the outage was caused by high traffic to the website or by something else, the spokesman said.

In a posting Tuesday on holiday travel tips, the FAA had directed travelers to the airport status page.

In a 2007 press release on the system, the FAA described it this way: "General information – if operations are running smoothly or if there are delays – can be obtained simply by moving a mouse cursor over one of the airports featured on a map of the United States. More detailed information, including current average delay times and the reason for the delay, can be obtained by clicking on the airport."