On Wednesday night, travelers who were in Istanbul when the deadly airport attacks occurred arrived in Chicago, sharing their stories and reuniting with loved ones after a particularly terrifying experience.
Ann Brooks could not stand still at O’Hare International Airport, waiting for a glimpse of her 23-year-old daughter Sarah.
“I was pretty anxious and I’m just happy to see her,” Brooks said.
Like many passengers, Brooks’ daughter Sarah Brenne said security was tight at the Istanbul airport, and she went through three security checkpoints.
“I was a little freaked out to begin with but then I was there, I felt completely safe, security was extremely high, everyone was doing a great job,” Brenne said.
The attacks occurred outside the security checkpoints, a vulnerability at many airports across the world that has security experts concerned.
“If the threat level persists, we may have to go to levels like that of strengthening the outer perimeter,” said Arnette Heintze, CEO of Hillard Heintze
The TSA has stepped up security at airports across the U.S. right before the holiday weekend. Transportation and security experts expect more changes in the near future, but at O'Hare Wednesday night, the focus was on hugging loved ones who just arrived home, and keeping them close.
“You want to live your life to the fullest every day but at the same time at the back of your head theres always this question,” said Baran Mutlu, whose brother lives in Turkey. “Anything can happen at any moment.”
Ozlem Parlar hasn't seen her brother in two years, so when he arrived at O’Hare Wednesday, they shared a relieved and bittersweet reunion.
“I’m praying for them and I hope everything will be better soon,” Parlar said.