Snow, fog, ice and cold air severe enough to freeze up trains and airport fuel trucks delayed holiday travelers around the country Friday at the start of the busy Christmas weekend.
"My two kids now are sick. This is a disaster," said Eric Rosenkrantz of Holliston, Mass., as he waited at Boston's Logan Airport to board a plane to Florida after the family's flight was canceled two days in a row.
The delays in Boston were blamed on snow there and fog in Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles.
The American Automobile Association predicted nearly 61 million people would travel by all means of transportation between the Christmas and New Year's weekends, up by about 2 million from last year.
Hundreds of passengers taking Amtrak's City of New Orleans waited more than 15 hours -- six of them on board -- for the train to leave Chicago on Thursday night after minus-9 cold froze up cars and locomotive fuel lines.
When the train finally left, it traveled only 20 miles to Homewood, Ill., where it stopped because the crew had worked the maximum shift. Amtrak scrambled to get the passengers to their holiday destinations by bus, plane or other means.
Several other Amtrak trains running out of Chicago were delayed or canceled.
At New York's LaGuardia Airport, where 40 minute delays are the norm, the scene was a mess.
"Our flight to Chicago was canceled, and they told us we can't leave until Monday," said Lindsey Parks, 17, a high school senior headed home to Duncan, Okla., through Chicago and Dallas.
The Chicago leg of the trip was canceled after diesel-powered runway equipment and fuel trucks at Chicago's Midway Airport were put out of commission when the fuel turned gelatinous in the cold. Eight departing flights were canceled Thursday night, causing delays into Friday.
In Alabama, freezing rain slathered roads in ice and was blamed for accidents in which four people died, including two whose car slid into a lake.
In Georgia, sleet and freezing rain made roads slippery and forced the cancellation of some flights at the Atlanta airport.
At Delta Air Lines, which has faced labor unrest, there was concern about cancellations caused by pilots refusing to work overtime.
"We do expect significant cancellations because of reduced pilot availability," said Delta spokeswoman Cindy Kurczewski.
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