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Some flights were taking off, but many others were still canceled. JFK and Newark airports resumed limited service Wednesday. La Guardia Airport was still closed because of flooding.
Elgin, Ill., native Alice Mead told ABC7 Chicago she felt good to finally be home after days of being stranded in Boston.
"The worst thing was the winds. The winds were so strong in Boston. We were in downtown Boston, and I thought I was going to be airborne," Mead said.
Service to and from the East Coast was starting to get back on track slowly as travelers at O'Hare were scrambling to get on rebooked flights.
"I just want to go hug my kids. Now, I'm getting emotional. I just want to go home and hug my kids. There's no power at home. I don't really care what we lose, what happens, but they're OK," said stranded traveler Sharon Vaghi said.
Since Sunday, more than 18,000 flights across the Northeast and the globe were scrubbed, and it may take days before travel gets back to normal.
"My flight to New Jersey was canceled for today, and now, I have to go to Indiana to go to Pennsylvania to go back home. I couldn't get a flight out until Saturday," said passenger Nicole Brouillard.
American Airlines employees dressed in Halloween costumes passed out candy Wednesday to many weary travelers at O'Hare who needed some treats after Superstorm Sandy's nasty tricks.
"Yeah. I hung out in Vegas all day yesterday from 8:00 in the morning until I got on a plane at 11:30 last night," said stranded passenger John Concannon , who said he was stuck at O'Hare until at least Wednesday night.
The airline also released the following partial statement:
"We have extended our travel waiver covering the three New York airports. Customers whose tickets were issued no later than Oct. 30 for travel Oct. 31 through Nov. 7 to, from or through JFK, LGA and EWR may rebook without penalty for travel Nov. 1 through Dec. 20."