Oops: O’Hare Airport Damages Emirates A380 During Test Flight

Filed Under: Emirates

While Emirates has been flying to Chicago since 2014, they flew an A380 between Dubai and Chicago today for the first time, as a test. The airport has updated their infrastructure, so they wanted to be sure they could actually handle an A380.


Both Emirates and O’Hare Airport were quite excited about this. Per an Emirates press release:

For the first time in the airport’s history, on July 19 2016 Emirates will fly one of its flagship A380 aircraft into Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Emirates has been invited by O’Hare International Airport, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and the City of Chicago to test the gate, operations and significant infrastructure improvements that have been implemented to accommodate A380 service.

“The arrival of Emirates’ A380 plane to O’Hare International Airport is exciting for the city of Chicago,” said CDA Commissioner Ginger S. Evans. “The improvement we’ve made at O’Hare to accommodate the A380 is one of many projects underway that will make Chicago more competitive and attractive for passengers and businesses. I want to thank Emirates for its commitment to Chicago.”

Dozens and dozens of A380s manage to operate around the world daily without incident. So how did O’Hare do with the one A380 they had to handle? They damaged it, and according to Flightradar24, the return flight may have to be canceled (though as of now it still shows as operating).


Well, I guess that answers whether the airport is ready to handle the A380 or not. 😉

  1. My guess is Emirates didn’t pay the crony politicians enough so they sought revenge. Have to pay to play in Chicago!

    Saw it on approach today. Telling tho that ORD is one the busiest airports in the world and can’t handle this plane.

  2. Hopefully ohare could get some sustained A380 traffic. I also hope this doesn’t happen again.

  3. Not a fan of Emirates. They are arrogant – serves them right! Of all MEA airlines – I prefer Qatar. But if I have a choice – rather fly an Asian carrier such as Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways to name a few. And don’t like transit in MEA. Not safe!

    And oh 10 abreast seating in an A380 is like sardines!

  4. @Raymond

    Qatar is the worst of the three when it comes to treatment of employees, particularly female FAs. I will never fly with them.

  5. So one question would this have been do to an operator error by an Emirates? I mean would an Emirates contractor or employee have been responsible. I find it hard to believe the airport would not have installed the right jet bridge…ie why are we blaming O’hare?

  6. @Charles…Spend enough time in O’Hare and you begin blaming that airport for every bad thing that has ever happened in the world. It becomes a reflex 😀

    @Raymond…What exactly is unsafe about Dubai or Abu Dhabi? I’ve only been to those cities twice, on a trip that included a few days in Muscat, Oman. And between the 3 cities I don’t think I ever once felt remotely unsafe for a moment.

  7. This is not the first ramp incident involving A380. It is not ORD’s issue, If EK ground handler or EK pilots cannot park it correctly.

  8. Emirates should take their A380s down the road to Cleveland now that Clevelands kind of back on he map

  9. I am a fan of Emirates any where, any day…….have no regret flying d airline.

  10. Very bad news if such a major airport can’t handle the plane. Any word what the actual damage was?

  11. Most of the American Airports are not Airbus 380 ready.
    They are still coping up with boeing 747 to the maximum.

    I guess Singapore (1/100th in geographic area) of USA was ready before the Great America could even see it in their airspace.
    I remember during my flight to SFO in March 2016. The BA (LHR TO SFO) in A380 , the aircraft taxied for More than 1 hour because SFO had only 1 gate equipped to handle A380 gate.

  12. Chicago: “Gee, that’s sure a nice airplane you got… be a shame if something happened to it while you park it here….”

  13. O’Hare staff is a bunch of incompetent idiots who can barely handle ANY job given.
    It’s on all levels. I have just landed here, on May 28th, after a grueling non-stop flight from Seoul. I was one of the first passengers off the plane. First – I had to walk a never-ending corridor to get even remotely close to the Immigration/customs. The hall was empty, NO SIGNS where to go, no assistance. So I’ve proceeded to the end of the maze and.. I was sent back to a freshly forming line. I’ve ended up at the.. beginning of the maze because two 747-s have just unloaded their passengers and around 800 people formed a line. The line got closer to the Immigration checkpoint and I’ve seen rude agents SHOUTING at people “Citizens here! Visas here!” That was really bad. The airports in Asia have clearly marked routes, in multiple languages, for tired passengers who often spend 14 hours or more, on a plane. No shouting, no sheep-herding.
    I had to fill out an immigration form which.. nobody needed. I had to go thru a digital scanner which took my photo (another two lines and more shouting agents) and wait in another line to see an admission officer. He didn’t look at that hand-filled form either. Finally the line to a Customs and I’m out. Phew!
    Another nightmare begun. How do I get out of Terminal 5?? No elevator in sight. I have to get to a main building, to find city train (CTA line), I have heavy luggage and I am NOT taking it on the escalators.
    Ah! The elevators are HIDDEN at the end of the main hall at T5 so that nobody can find them.
    Finally at the CTA O’Hare stop. What has happened there? Why does this train stop smell like a filthy urinal? Is that how we greet international visitors who take public transit in Chicago? Ew!
    O’Hare is a filthy, confusing and chaotic airport, with obnoxious employees and smell of urine everywhere. It reeks at the departures, in T5! Same odor as the CTA station. Is the ventilation upside-down at this airport?? Are we out of bleach or Lysol??
    O’Hare service employees should be sent out to Narita or Incheon airports, for training. They behave like bullies and push people around. Manners! We pay your salaries with the airport fees! And for God sake – clean up that place. It stinks!
    Yeah, the A380 was scraped. I’m not surprised. This airport has a lot to learn, from top to bottom…

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