Hurricane Sandy Creates Travel Nightmare

Travelers stranded in Chicago as storm barrels toward East Coast

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Monday morning live report from O'Hare Airport as passengers trying to get to the East Coast stranded.

    As Hurricane Sandy battled the East Coast, Chicago travelers were also feeling the pain.

    United Airlines canceled 3,700 flights Sunday through Wednesday, which is 16 percent of its trips system-wide. More than 1,500 American Airlines flights have been canceled so far.

    That's led to a congested scene at O'Hare Airport where officials set up cots overnight for stranded passengers.

    Dolly McMullen is trying to make it back to the East Coast after her cruise vacation, but missed her connecting flight.

    "My anxiety has been through the roof. We didn't even get to see all of our ports," she said. "Our cruise was shortened and the flight problems have been ridiculous."

    Airline carriers at O'Hare and Midway airports are waving their change fees, which can typically cost up to $150, for customers willing to scrap their travel plans along the Northeast from Monday to Wednesday.

    But some travelers were concerned about how soon they will be able to travel to the East Coast if they change their flights.

    "The thing that most concerns me is that if the flight does get cancelled, how long it will take to get back there cause there's a lot of things I have to do in the next few days," said Kathy Bailey, who is flying home to Boston. "Whatever happens, happens. It's out of my control. I guess the bottom line is for people to be safe."

    Jumping on the train will not be any easier. Amtrak canceled all Northeast Corrider services for Monday.

    A Lakeshore Flood Watch is in effect until late Monday, with waves as high as 15 feet to 33 feet possible on Lake Michigan.

    On its current projected track, Sandy could make U.S. landfall on Monday night or Tuesday morning anywhere between Maryland and southern New England, forecasters said. Some computer models show a likely landfall between Delaware and the New York/New Jersey area.

    More than 240 ComEd crews from the Chicago area on their way to help with the power outages expected to accompany the powerful storm.