Weary travelers at O'Hare International Airport are looking for alternate ways to get to their holiday destinations as the first big storm of the season headed toward Chicago.
About 1,000 flights have been canceled as a winter storm bears down on the Midwest.
Twenty-year-old Erin Henderson was trying to return home to Kansas City after five months studying abroad in Italy. She arrived in Chicago to learn the last leg of her flight was canceled.
A teary-eyed Henderson planned to get some sleep in a nearby hotel before trying to catch a flight to St Louis in the morning. Aprielle Kugler had two flights to Des Moines canceled. The 18-year-old from Wisconsin said she may try to take a bus if she can't get on a flight.
American Airlines canceled all of its O'Hare flights scheduled after 8 p.m. Thursday, saying it expected winds to make it "very difficult, if not impossible, to operate" out of the airport.
Southwest Airlines canceled all its Midway flights after 4:30 p.m.
Forecasters say rain will turn to snow by Thursday evening. The Chicago area could get 2 to 6 inches of snow, with wind gusts up to 60 mph.
Airlines are waiving fees for some travelers who want to change their plans.
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