Holiday travel: More than 2K flights delayed on Saturday as travelers return home

Sunday is expected to be O'Hare's busiest travel day of the holiday travel season so far

ByChristian Piekos, ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, November 27, 2022
O'Hare prepares for holiday travel rush Sunday after Thanksgiving
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Sunday is expected to be O'Hare's busiest travel day of the holiday travel season so far

Security lines are moving at a manageable pace at Chicago's O'Hare Saturday night and passengers calmly check in at kiosks with plenty to spare ahead of what's expected to be a mad rush to get home Sunday.

"I'm glad to be here tonight. There's like nobody here it feels like," said traveler, Lindsey Schultz.

"I just checked in, it was fairly easy. Not that many people at this moment," added Raven Johnson.

However, some travelers looking to fly home Saturday after the Thanksgiving holiday are dealing with frustration.

As of mid-afternoon, FlightAware shows more than 2,300 flights delayed into, out of, or within the United States.

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Nearly 40 flights have been canceled.

The greatest numbers of delays are in airports in Dallas and Houston.

Areas of the south are dealing with storms and severe weather. That storm system is making its way to the east.

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Sunday is expected to be O'Hare's busiest travel day of the holiday travel season so far.

A total of 1.7 million passengers are estimated to travel through O'Hare or Midway when the Thanksgiving travel season wraps up Monday, which will be a 6.6% increase from this time last year.

Wet weather will move into the Chicago area Sunday that could potentially cancel or delay flights.

TSA officials are asking passengers to be prepared.

"Maybe, I think a lot of people have not been traveling the last few years and so we want to remind people of some of that TSA etiquette. When you approach the document checking station, have your ID ready. That's a time saver," said TSA Regional Spokesperson Jessica Mayle.

TSA officials are encouraging travelers to pack smart and to avoid packing prohibited items, which can slow down lines.

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Some passengers said they cut their trips a bit short to get home sooner.

"Try to get here early," Johnson suggested.

TSA said the number of people flying this holiday has neared pre-pandemic levels.

CNN contributed to this post.