Last update: 11:50 a.m. ET. Next update: By 4 p.m. ET.
Airline passengers faced delays and cancellations across the Midwest on Sunday, one of the busiest travel days of the year as throngs of holiday travelers make their way home from Thanksgiving.
Nationwide, nearly 500 flights had been canceled and another 700 delayed as of 11:50 a.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.
Most of those came in the Midwest, where a winter storm was bringing snow, ice and rain to a swath of the Great Plains and Midwest. Blizzard conditions were possible Sunday across parts of Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin.
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The weather has led to flight cancellations at a number of airports in the region, including Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; and Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
But the biggest impact to air travelers was in Chicago, where more than 200 combined arrivals and departures had been canceled as of 11:50 a.m. ET at the city’s busy O’Hare airport.
O’Hare is a major connecting hub for both United and American, and many of the cancellations there were on affiliate airlines that fly regional flights under the United and American brands. By FlightAware’s count. the cancellations accounted for more than 7 percent of Sunday’s entire schedule at O’Hare. Around 100 of O’Hare’s cancellations were made pre-emptively by Saturday night as storm forecasts solidified.
Cancellations also sprouted up Sunday morning across town at Chicago’s Midway Airport, a major base for Southwest Airlines. A combined 122 arrivals and departures — about 15 percent of the entire day’s schedule there — had been canceled there as of 11:50 a.m. ET.
Many major airlines were waiving change fees.
The details vary by carrier, but – generally – the waivers allow affected customers to make one change to their itineraries without paying change fees that can cost $200 or more.
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