The lines at Chicago O’Hare International Airport were much shorter on Friday morning than on the last two days, and many flights were departing on time. Still, a few people had slept at the airport Thursday night and remained stranded.
For Suhas Khan, a 25-year-old civil engineer from Texas, O’Hare became both a haven from the cold and a prison as he waited for more than 24 hours for a flight to Doha, Qatar. Mr. Khan said he flew from Dallas to O’Hare on Thursday and had since been stuck. Weary and restless, Mr. Khan said he had only his cellphone to keep him occupied but was making the most out of his situation.
“It’s boring and my flight isn’t for 12 hours, so I still have a long while to go,” he said.
For Aggie Baumert, a 41-year-old mother who was traveling from Chicago to Puerto Rico with her husband and her 14-month-old daughter, O’Hare wasn’t as congested as she anticipated.
“I think the news makes it seem worse,” Ms. Baumert said. “Our flight is on time, but we got here four hours early just to be safe.”
Joe Netzel, 40, from Chicago, agreed with Ms. Baumert and said he was pleasantly surprised that the airport didn’t have many long lines.
“I didn’t think we’d be able to get in the door, but our flight is on time,” said Mr. Netzel, who was waiting to fly to Phoenix with his wife and 3-year-old daughter.
Brenton Alt, 38, from Phoenix, arrived at O’Hare after his flight to Chicago was diverted from nearby Midway Airport. For Mr. Alt, who was traveling with his girlfriend to spend the holidays with her family, it was his first time visiting Chicago, and the subzero temperatures outside were not something he looked forward to experiencing.
“I don’t know what that will feel like, but I’ll find out soon,” he said. “We have plans to do things in the city, but I’m not sure anything will be open.”