The cots for hundreds of stranded passengers were set up beyond O'Hare's security checkpoint late Sunday. Many of the travelers were seen using their cell phones and laptops as rebooking was the task of the day.
"I have flown from Sydney to L.A. and to Chicago, and my flight from Chicago to Cleveland has gotten cancelled. It's Tuesday afternoon. So, I'm stuck here until then," Melanie Vacik told ABC7 Chicago.
Forty-five minute delays had been reported earlier in the day at O'Hare. Delays at Midway were reported at approximately 30 minutes.
About 2,000 flights pass through O'Hare on a daily basis.
The airlines blamed the wind for the travel complications.
The departures monitor at O'Hare was a depressing sight for many passengers. The word "cancelled" was almost everywhere, making it a frustrating experience for many travelers. Some were trying to get home, and others, for example, were trying to get back to school for a week of finals.
"It's just frustrating because it was canceled and moved to tonight, and I hope it's not canceled tonight," Pittsburgh student Kelsey Murray said.
Many travelers expected to be grounded but we still hoping they would get out. However, that was not the case for one couple trying to get back to Portland.
"We had a flight out at 5 o'clock, I believe. And that's been canceled and it looks like there's another flight that may go out at 7:45, but there's a good chance that might be cancelled," Bob Negele said. "So, we're booked on a flight in the morning, and we're looking for a place to stay."
Negele was also worried about the frozen pizzas he had planned to bring back for Christmas presents.
"Good Chicago pizza. It may end up in a snow drift tonight to keep them cold," he said.
Passenger Kim Aberon was trying to fly to New Delhi and leave Chicago winter behind for six weeks. She was lucky her flight was on time.
"I heard the bigger planes would be on time because they can handle this type of weather. So, fingers crossed," she told ABC7 Chicago.
Because of international flights were getting out successfully, the international counter was busy Sunday.
One man was trying to get back to Raleigh, North Carolina, however, after being in Kuwait for six months.
"It's crazy. There's nothing you can do about the weather," Edward Barideaux said.
Travelers hoping to flight out of O'Hare are advised to check flight status before leaving home.