Cherry Capital Airport Shuffles Holiday Travelers

Fog in Chicago Affecting Local Travel Plans

Weather in the Windy City on Tuesday affected the Christmas travel plans for many northern Michigan residents. Heavy fog in Chicago in the morning had a ripple effect to connecting cities everywhere.

That added a little dose of holiday stress at Traverse City’s Cherry Capital Airport, whether they’re coming or going.

Jacqueline Keene is traveling to northern Michigan with her family, from Fairfax, Virginia. “We’ve actually never been here before. Our aunt and uncle just moved here from Kansas City so our entire extended family is coming to visit. So it will be the first time altogether for Christmas in a long time so we’re super excited.”

For Kimberly Evans and her husband, they’re trying to leave town and head west. “We’re trying to get to Denver, Colorado. It’s actually pretty exciting. It’s the first time my family has all been together for Christmas since my parents got divorced two decades ago. So we’re very excited.”

Christmas is all about family – and the travel it takes to get there. But at Cherry Capital Airport, the first morning flights in and out of Chicago were cancelled or delayed.

Jim Kalajian is traveling with his wife and two kids. “We dropped the dog off at the kennel and we were driving here. My wife checked her email and: a cancellation. So it’s a cancellation. So it’s kind of ‘Defcon 5.'”

It has many passengers, like the Kalajians, now scrambling to get on to later flights. “It may work out. Christmas wishes, Christmas miracle, all those kinds of things.”  They’re trying to get to their final destinations before Christmas day. “We’re going from here to Chicago, to Miami to Barcelona. But probably not that quickly now. It’s a long trip. We get there Christmas morning 6 am.”

But others, like Debby Storms from Onekama, are having to wait for a new flight on Christmas. “Well, alas, I had planned to visit a sister in Minneapolis, leaving today. And got here and discovered the flight to Chicago, the connecting flight destination is cancelled due to fog. They were trying to re-book me and by the time they told me the options all those seats were snatched up. So it’s going to be a tough day here at the airport for these poor people.”

Even so, it hasn’t dampened the Christmas spirit. Kimberly Evans, from Honor, says, “What are you going to do, you know? We live close enough to the airport we can go home and our stuff is already packed and ready to go. I can either cry or I can laugh. So we’ll laugh and we’ll go home and we’ll try again.”

With the morning fog, it’s a good thing Santa isn’t traveling until nighttime. And rumor has it Rudolph is on standby in case rough conditions come rolling through again.

Jim Kalajian says, “It is what it is, you know. We’re not in control, so we’re just going to do the best we can with it. It ends up being a shorter trip by maybe a few hours. But we’re still all together.”

For the latest on the status of flights to and from Cherry Capital, click here.