At last: Air travel to clear up after thousands of flights delayed or canceled
(CNN) — It may have taken a while, but travelers struggling to get home after Thanksgiving weekend will get to sleep in their own beds soon.
After more than 4,000 U.S. flights were delayed and 244 were canceled Sunday — one of the busiest travel days of the year — airports should be much less chaotic Monday.
As of early Monday morning, about 130 flights were delayed and 22 were canceled, according to FlightAware.com.
Air travelers Monday probably won’t see a repeat of the enormous lines like one at Chicago Midway International Airport. There, the line for security screening got so bad that reporter Denise Whitaker of CNN affiliate KOMO measured it: 1.2 miles.
So what caused this?
“This happens sometimes,” Chicago Aviation Department spokeswoman Karen Pride said, according to CNN affiliate WLS. She said that between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Sunday, lines were long because “that is when most people are traveling for the holiday period.”
But weather didn’t play a big role at many major airports.
Sure, snow snarled traffic for parts of the country on Wednesday, but conditions were much better Sunday in many areas. Chicago had temperatures in the upper 40s in Chicago.
Denver, however, did get hit with bad weather.
About 50 flights to Denver International Airport were diverted due to heavy fog, CNN affiliate KMGH reported.
“It’s going to take some time to catch up from this weather,” airport spokeswoman Laura Coale told KMGH on Sunday.
While a lot of attention goes to the airports — where the interconnected flight travel system can have a domino effect — the vast majority of Thanksgiving travelers hit the road.
Ninety percent of travelers were expected to go by road, AAA predicted, helped by the lowest gas prices in five years.
In all, more than 46 million people were expected to travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving, marking the highest volume since 2007.
“The average distance traveled this Thanksgiving will be 549 miles roundtrip, and Americans will spend an average of $573 during the holiday weekend,” AAA predicted.