Busiest holiday travel day wraps up smoothly

December 27, 2009 (CHICAGO) Travelers could expect more TSA pat-downs and an increased security presence.

It was a quiet evening at O'Hare, despite being the busiest travel day of the holiday. Most flights left earlier in the day, giving Sunday night's passengers a smoother way through both the check-in and security lines.

"Things are looking good. Everything is on time. I've been in Austin, Texas, for a wedding. My flight earlier was cancelled from Milwaukee, so I had to drive down…because of the weather," Rob Sarver said.

Fortunately, there were few cancellations, though the airlines did spend much of the morning trying to catch up with the travel nightmare that was Saturday, when over 300 flights were cancelled due to the snow.

There were quite a few delays, though, mostly because of icing on the planes. Few exceeded more than 30 minutes.

Despite an increased security presence at the airport, lines moved steadily. The biggest security-related problems seemed to be happening for international passengers. One man missed his connection to L.A. because of delays on the ground in Paris.

"We had to basically go through carry-on luggage inspection all over again before boarding the plan, and that added another two hours to boarding," Elliot Dewberry said.

It wasn't just the airports that were busy. In the tri-state area, more than 6 million people took to the air, rail and roads today. Traffic on the Northwest Tollway was light but steady, as drivers continued to make their way home.

"Coming from South Bend, Indiana, the first 45 minutes was torture, took forever. After that it got a lot smoother. Chicago was fine. I'm heading to Rockford. So far I haven't had any big problems,"Jeannie Hayes said.

Sunday's relatively smooth travel day certainly was a welcome relief, especially after Saturday's troubles.

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