Smooth sailing for returning holiday travelers; Sunday ends Thanksgiving weekend travel rush

December 1, 2013 (CHICAGO)

People are travelling by planes, trains, automobiles and buses.

A fair number of drivers were still on the road Sunday night, though traffic on the Jane Adams is moving pretty smoothly Sunday evening. For many, the long trek home after the holiday could have been much worse.

After a long day on the roads, Kyle and Becky Hendricks needed to stretch their legs.

"It's actually really busy," Kyle Hendricks said. "It's been almost stop-and-go for the last five hours."

They were driving home to Chicago from northern Wisconsin with their border collie, Frodo.

"We have a panting dog in the back, so it's really frustrating because the stop-and-go makes him more anxious," said Becky Hendricks.

There was also gridlock outside the terminals at O'Hare International Airport, vehicles bumper-to-bumper.

"This traffic is chaos," shuttle bus driver Lionel Muhammed said. "It took me almost 30 minutes to get from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3."

Inside O'Hare, it was much smoother-sailing.

With weather not a factor there were few delays and cancellations.

"I think they were prepared," said traveler Berkley Cameron. "Everybody seemed to be expecting this, so no problem at all."

"It was pretty easy," Max Goldberg said. "No real delays. It wasn't even that crowded. I got through security pretty fast."

Travelers also took to the rails at Union Station and the greyhound terminal downtown, where it was standing-room-only. Some Champaign-bound passengers were delayed for a couple hours.

"I'm pretty angry, but I'm just trying to keep it cool, I guess," said bus passenger Melisa Lee.

"I don't ever want to come here again," bus passenger Allison Macey said. "I'd rather find somewhere else to travel."

Richard Love had to wait five hours for a bus to Milwaukee after thinking he could just walk up and buy a ticket.

"If nothing else, this gives me a couple more hours to reflect and be thankful for the things that I'm thankful for, so no big deal," he said.

Many travelers thankful to be home after this long holiday weekend. It's estimated more than two million Illinois residents hit the roads for Thanksgiving. That's about one in six people in the state.

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