Holiday travelers in Chicago scramble to beat impending snowstorm

O'Hare International Airport was certainly busy Monday as AAA says 7.2 million Americans are expected to travel by air this holiday season.

However, all eyes are currently on a snowstorm expected to hit Chicago later this week.

DePaul University professor Joe Schwieterman says the snowstorm will strike right when travel is expected to kick into high gear Thursday and Friday.

"We are about a day away from these dreaded preemptive cancelations, where airlines pull down schedules in anticipation of airplanes not getting stuck in the wrong place," said Schwieterman, adding he thinks airlines will play it safe especially if high winds are expected.


Travelers on Monday told FOX 32 Chicago they are just happy to have avoided a potential snowy mess Thursday and Friday.

Meanwhile, some airlines have already announced more options for travelers.

United Airlines, Southwest and American Airlines are waiving change fees for flyers traveling in the Midwest Wednesday through Friday.

Chicago snowstorm: Timeline, snow projections, and Christmas travel impacts amid blizzard-like conditions

"Especially on Friday, the day before Christmas Eve, that afternoon schedule is just going to be packed and there’s not a lot of places to put the people if we have cancelations," said Schwieterman, who suggested, if you are flying this week, keep in touch with your airline.

If you are driving, make sure you winterize your car and have the proper supplies.

With the upcoming frigid temperatures, frostbite will be possible on exposed skin in less than 30 minutes.