First snow of season delaying holiday travel

December 20, 2012 8:37:59 PM PST
Many holiday travelers had hoped to be to their destinations by Thursday night, but hundreds of flights have been delayed or canceled.

The snow is not accumulating, but wind is a problem and has prompted the airlines to cancel 350 flights at O'Hare and another 150 or so at Midway.

Jean Anslow is one of many waiting in a long line trying to rebook a flight Thursday night. She came from London and has to be in Fort Lauderdale Friday to leave on a two-week Caribbean cruise.

"We're just standing in the queue to see if we get somebody to get us on that flight (Friday) morning," she said. "But of course the world and his dog wants to get on that flight, as well."

Even as planes arrive at O'Hare Thursday night, hundreds of scheduled flights are now cancelled, including Angela Erbentrout's short trip to Milwaukee.

"The flight was cancelled. I just want a refund," she said.

At Midway the last Southwest Airlines flights of the day were airborne by 5 o'clock. The airline cancelled everything later, about 150 flights, leaving Shannon Black and her husband scrambling to get back home to Dallas for the holidays.

"We're trying to drive to St. Louis," she said. It's a little over five hour drive and we don't how to drive on the ice."

It has also been tough for visitors trying to get to Chicago. Margot Smith managed to get on the last flight in from Fort Myers tonight to see family for Christmas.

"We're here, we're safe and we're going to be with the kiddies," she said.

Rebooking flights for those that were cancelled is not an easy task because this is the start of the busy travel season, Friday being one of the busiest days of the year.


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