East Coast Blizzard Brings Travel Woes to Chicago

O’Hare ranked among the top 10 airports that canceled flights ahead of the blockbuster blizzard

Hundreds of cancellations were reported at both Chicago airports Saturday as the crippling blizzard continues to dump snow across several eastern states.

As of 9:15 a.m., 170 flights were canceled at O’Hare International Airport because of the winter wallop on the east coast, according to officials. Another 50 flights were canceled at Midway International Airport.

A college student heading back to school from Los Angeles, California to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania had to stay overnight Friday into Saturday after her flight from O’Hare was canceled. She returned to the airport in the morning, but was not able to rebook a flight.

"I mean, the airport is closed,” said Yelda Quezda. “Philly is just closed. Their flights are canceled. Same for Harrisburg. I have to wait until tomorrow to have it booked for me."

A woman from Michigan was headed to Puerto Rico with her husband and had a connection in North Carolina, but that flight was canceled. The couple hopes to be out of O’Hare by 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

"It's the weather,” said Debbie Chase. “I'm still smiling though because you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Well get there eventually."

Nationwide, more than 4,800 flights were canceled and several thousands were also delayed, according to website FlightAware. O’Hare ranked among the top 10 airports that canceled flights ahead of the blockbuster blizzard.

Many airlines have altered service in the areas directly in line of the storm’s path. United Airlines suspended service at Washington, D.C.'s Dulles Airport "and other mid-Atlantic airports" starting on Friday. It also suspended United Express service from Newark. United expects to gradually resume service on Monday, according to the company.

Passengers should check with individual airlines for up-to-date flight and waiver information.

Some Amtrak trains to and from the East Coast have also been canceled or their routes shortened, including trains between New York and Miami, Chicago and New York or Washington, D.C., and others.

Amtrak advises that passengers check the schedule to see if their trip had been canceled; refund information is available here or by calling 800-USA-RAIL.

The blizzard could rank near the top 10 to ever hit the region, according to the National Weather Service, burying the nation's capital under more than 2 feet of snow.

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