Winter Storm Hinders Travel in the Northland

By KBJR News 1

December 20, 2012 Updated Dec 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A winter storm has parts of the Midwest on lockdown tonight, affecting thousands of holiday travelers on the ground and in the air.

Dozens upon dozens of flights across the Midwest were cancelled Thursday due to blizzard conditions across the heartland and into Wisconsin, causing even more stress for holiday travelers.

"Yeah, I'm stressed, I'm pretty ticked off and I'm ready to go home," said Zac Badders. His connecting flight in Chicago got cancelled, and now has to figure out what to do until his flight leaves Friday morning.

A winter storm warning remained in effect for most of Wisconsin through Friday.

The storm delayed and canceled flights in Madison and in Chicago - which put a wrench in Rachael Colbalth's travel plans.

"Yeah, My original flight I was supposed to go from Duluth to Chicago, to Manchester, which is actually in New Hampshire, but because the storm is hitting Chicago right now, I'm going to Duluth to Minneapolis to Boston, where I'll have to be picked up and driven to new Hampshire," said Colbath.

"I was supposed to leave here at 3...3:15 and my flight got canceled, I'm kinda stuck here now, I gotta figure something out," said Badders.

More than half of Americans will be traveling this holiday season to see family and friends across the country.

Although the Weather may be affecting people's travel plans, the economy has not.

"At the same time, as the economy has started to pick up and people have had more discretionary money we have seen that translate to passengers traveling more throughout the entire year, so we expect that trend to continue very, very strong, through the holidays," said Tom Werner the Executive Director of the Duluth Airport Authority.

Besides flying, 48 percent of Americans will be driving to their destination, according to a Trip Advisor survey.

Good news for those drivers at the pumps with the average price falling 20 cents per gallon in the past month.

"Oh they are awesome, in fact I was surprised when I pulled up to the pump and I looked at the sign to make sure the price was right. But it's great to be able to fill my tank for less than fifty dollars," said Carrie Sutherland, who was filling up at the pump.

A bright spot in an otherwise hectic travel week.

Some important reminders when traveling arrive early and call the air line ahead of time to get the latest information on your flight.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com