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Incoming flights grounded at O'Hare as dense fog shrouds Chicago area on Christmas Eve

Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas, Hannah Leone And Alice Yin, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Weather News

Some travelers weren't sure how they were going to kill time waiting during the mounting delays, while others on arriving flights were waiting on luggage.

Ralph Korson's flight back to his hometown of Traverse City, Mich., after visiting friends was canceled, but he said he was able to get put on an 11:50 a.m. flight. Minutes before 8 a.m., he wasn't sure how he was going to kill the time. "Well it's boring," Korson said, figuring he'd sit somewhere, "get a magazine or something."

Still, the incoming flight stoppage was affecting those waiting for their bags, as well as those waiting for the airplane they were meant to depart on. Nancy Hassan and Wessam Abdeleziz waited near the baggage claim with their sons, ages 7 years and 6 months, in hopes the fog advisory would lift so they could pick up their car four miles away and drive home to Kalamazoo, Mich.

The baby, wearing a blue onesie patterned with snowmen and penguins, crawled across a zebra-print blanket while his mother watched over him. The family celebrated their Christmas early with a vacation in Las Vegas, where the older boy enjoyed zip lining.

"They have lot of fun activities for kids," Hassan said.

After making it part-way to their final destination, the family was ready eager to get on with their travels. Hassan explained they usually fly out of Chicago or Detroit, depending on the price of tickets, she said.

But the family may still be in for delays even once they pick up their vehicle.

The dense fog also could affect road travel, with decreased visibility for motorists. The American Automobile Association expects more travelers on the road this holiday season nationwide than ever before. The figure represents a 3.9% increase from motorists last year and AAA said travel will be at its peak Thursday.

 

"AAA forecasts that 104 million Americans will travel by car -- the most on record -- for a year-end holiday," according to Jeanette Casselano, an AAA spokeswoman.

In the Chicago metropolitan area, the only places not reporting much fog were parts of Lake County and down in Will County, Ratzner said.

The weather service advises drivers to slow down, turn on low beams and increase following distance while the freezing fog hangs over expressways.

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