Frigid temperatures force Southwest Airlines cancellations at Midway

CHICAGO -- Brutally cold, below-zero wind chills forced flight cancellations at Midway Airport Thursday morning.

Nearly 90 Southwest Airlines flights were cancelled. The airline blames a deep freeze spreading across the Great Lakes.

"Weather conditions at Chicago Midway are slowing our operation as ground crews work to deice aircraft in the extreme cold," said Dan Landson, a spokesman for Southwest.

Landson says the cancellations are a proactive measure. Many passengers were notified via email last night, but some never got one. They had to re-book their flights and wait in their terminal for several hours.

"Just waiting for a few hours until we can check the bags in," said Richard Mebane. "So instead of getting to New Orleans this morning, we'll get there in the evening."

"I'm going to Austin, Texas, and I was supposed to have a flight at like 8:20 this morning, and I found out late last night it was cancelled," said Michele Vonderheide. "So...there were only two other flights left for today. So I'm on the 2:25, and I gotta connect in St. Louis. So now I gotta change planes."

As passengers wait, Southwest says travelers can change their plans if they need to.

"All customers who are holding reservations involving travel to/from/through Chicago today through Friday may change their own plans within our customer accommodation policy, detailed at Southwest.com," Landson said.