Airports recovering in wake of snowstorm

December 13, 2010 3:46:19 PM PST
The storm that blanketed the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana with snow also made a mess of air travel.

Delays and cancellations stranded many passengers in Chicago over the weekend. Flights at both Midway and O'Hare were getting back to normal Monday night.

For some travelers who have been stranded for nearly two days, 'normal' cannot get here fast enough, but airlines have been accommodating stranded passengers in addition to their usual crowd of Monday commuters.

A lot less yellow on the flight boards today as airlines are playing catch-up to fly stranded travelers to their destinations.

"We re-routed our tickets to Green Bay, Wisconsin and then later the airport was closed as well," said traveler Olaitian Akinlade, whose trip home to London was delayed. "We tried to drive, and then the highways were impassible, snow covered and all that. So, we had to wait until today."

High winds from the storm that pounded the Midwest over the weekend prompted both Chicago airports to cancel flights on Sunday. Nearly 1,400 at O'Hare, and 300 at Midway.

Cots were set out for stranded passengers at O'Hare, though some just slept on the cold floor overnight.

On Monday, there were minor cancellations at midway and a few dozen at O'Hare. The remaining trouble spots are mainly other Midwest destinations.

"First and foremost, check with your airline before coming to the airport just to make sure your flight is departing, and on time," said Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino.

Chris Muller was trying to get to Cleveland on Monday, but he has been stuck at O'Hare for more than 24 hours.

Muller was stranded in Chicago after a 24-hour flight from Osaka, Japan. They are hoping to fly out Monday evening.

"None of us... have been through something, let alone expected, anything like this," said Muller. "It's one of the joys of traveling... maybe?"

Overall, airport officials are pleased with how this storm was handled. Both airports remain fully operational.


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