Winter storm in Chicago and Detroit impacts northern Michigan travelers
Ice, snow, and wind is impacting the Midwest and East Coast - which is having a ripple effect for travelers here in northern Michigan.
Hundreds of flights (over 400 by 11am Thursday) were cancelled or delayed out of Chicago O'Hare International Airport today - with American Airlines and United flights being the most affected in Traverse City.
A low pressure system moving through the Ohio Valley Thursday night is causing winter weather advisories and blizzard warnings from the Midwest through the East Coast.
After receiving more than 15 inches of snow, Chicago conditions look to improve Thursday night. But as the storm moves east airport officials here in northern Michigan are advising passengers to stay informed on other possible delays. Multiple flights to/from Detroit and Traverse City were delayed Thursday evening.
"With it being Chicago O'Hare - one of the nation's busiest airports/largest hubs - all airports are affected across the country, it's not just Cherry Capital," stated the Cherry Capital Airport Director Kevin Klein. "So a lot of passengers will say - can I go down to another airport and fly to Chicago, and the answer is, they're experiencing the same thing we are."
Klein said passengers need to work closely with their airline because they will get the best booking, the quickest way out - the airline will find the best alternatives for travelers. Unfortunately, because it's a weather issue and not an airline issue, travelers will have to fund their hotel stays and other necessities.
The airlines through Cherry Capital Airport try to contact passengers hours before take-off to notify them of any delays or cancellations - and so far have re-booked passengers for a new flight within the next couple of days.
Traverse City has seen multiple re-routed flights - some of them on Thursday coming in from Syracuse, going out to Sioux Falls. One flight Thursday evening had to return to O'Hare after not being able to land at Cherry Capital (passengers were expected to change planes and fly back 4 hours later).
Airport officials stress the biggest thing you can do if you're traveling is to stay in touch with your personal airline - use your reservation number, the airport website, or phone apps - to check for any potential travel headaches, especially if you are making connections to the East Coast.
The next flight in or out of Cherry Capital and O'Hare that's scheduled for "on time" is a departure out of Traverse City at 5:45am Friday.