Holiday travelers pack Midway, O'Hare airports after Christmas

Busy travel day comes after Southwest Airlines flight cancellations over weekend

Stephanie Wade Image
Tuesday, December 26, 2023
Holiday travelers making way through Midway, O'Hare
O'Hare and Midway airports have been busy with the holiday travel season still in full swing.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Christmas may be over, but the holiday travel period is far from over.

There was a steady crowd at Midway Airport Tuesday morning without seeing many problems after quite a headache of delays and cancellations snarled plans over the weekend.

Dense fog over the weekend prompted many frustrated travelers to have their Christmas plans disrupted.

"When we landed, I never saw the ground," Alex Barker, who is flying to Houston, said. "Just came through the fog and boom."

The bulk of them were flying with Southwest Airlines and many dealt with delays and cancellations Saturday into Sunday.

"I was supposed to leave on Saturday, flight canceled. Then the next day, flight canceled." Rosemary, who is flying to Fort Lauderdale, said.

People like Rosemary saw the worst of it. She had two of her flights cancelled to Fort Lauderdale to visit her daughter and grandchild for Christmas, only to have spent the holiday here away from them.

"It was frustrating the first time," she said. "The second time, it was like really? And this one I'm like well. It's all a process."

TSA said this year, the Friday before Christmas was the busiest when 2.75 million people were screened nationwide.

"I did not think it would be this crowded," Barker said. "I honestly had no idea there would be this many people."

It's been a record year for air travel. The TSA said they've seen 12% more travelers this year than last.

"It was like this when I came for Thanksgiving," Tamala Thomas, who is flying to Dallas, said. "I came two days before Thanksgiving. I'm used to traveling."

Tuesday, as people are back to traveling, winter weather across the country is bringing snow and some headaches for passengers.

Seeing what happened in Chicago over the weekend, many passengers ABC7 spoke to say, they got here early, expecting the high volume.

"We just got up. got ready, checked in and now we got time to spend to get some rest before we get on the plane because we had a good time in Chicago," Pat and Michael Morris, who are flying to Arkansas, said.

City airports have now returned to normal.