Emma Cronin arrived at Midway Airport Sunday morning an hour before her 9:50 a.m. flight to Massachusetts.
For Cronin, showing up an hour early was usual business; the 21-year-old flies from Midway Airport about five times a year.
“I fly Southwest a lot,” Cronin said. “Getting through the lines usually takes 20 minutes.”
She was floored to see a line that was reportedly more than a mile long.
“The line continued all the way through the airport to the CTA Orange Line that goes to and from Midway,” Cronin said. “I was very nervous about missing my flight.”
Sunday is the busiest day of the Thanksgiving travel period, which started two days before Thanksgiving and ends Tuesday, officials said. Like many travelers, Cronin was visiting her family in Chicago for the holiday weekend.
“This happens sometimes,” Chicago Aviation Department spokeswoman Karen Pride said. “There was a period of time earlier this morning, between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., that lines were long because that is when most people are traveling for the holiday period.”
According to Pride, the lines were cleared by 9:15 a.m.
“I was very surprised. The TSA people were helpful and the line moved very fast,” Cronin said. “I was really nervous about missing my flight, but I arrived at my gate and took off on time.”