Irene leaves travelers stranded in Chicago

August 28, 2011 8:39:10 PM PDT
Many travelers heading to and from the East Coast still face days of delays, even as airlines start flying again Monday morning at major airports that closed because of Irene.

Tropical Storm Irene canceled more than 11,000 flights nationwide over the weekend. In Chicago, officials say almost 400 flights have been canceled. Airlines canceled more than 300 flights at O'Hare International Airport and around 70 at Midway International Airport on Sunday.

On the phone looking for help, Barbara Grajko, her husband and their friends are trying to get back home to Connecticut after an Alaskan cruise. Before leaving Seattle Sunday, American Airlines told Grajko her flight from Chicago to Hartford was a go.

"We come here and we go to the, you know, to the check in and they say, 'No, it is canceled'," Grajko said.

Grajko says American cannot get her party on a flight until Thursday.

"We tried the Greyhound, nobody answers. I don't know what else we could possibly do except, you know, we just want to leave," Grajko said.

Amtrak is likely not an option either, especially if you are like Carol and Bruce Rice trying to get to New York's Penn Station.

"We just got off the train here and as of 10 minutes ago, we were still going to New York. The just now changed it so here we are. What's going to happen, we don't know.," Carol Rice said.

Many eastbound trips remained canceled Sunday night forcing many like Hope Johnson to extra day in Chicago.

"I'm booked for a 7 a.m. flight tomorrow morning. So hopefully I can go in because I have to get to work," Johnson said.

Like so many others stranded here in Chicago, the Boston-bound Millay family are hoping to get on a flight Monday morning. The Millays, who are returning from a Canadian vacation, changed their flight plans a few days after Irene was forecasted.

"We got lucky. We got the last five seats on a flight to Boston tomorrow morning. I think otherwise we would have been stuck a couple of days," said Amy Millay.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Load Comments