Hundreds of people line up at PDX hoping to see loved ones for Christmas

Published: Dec. 24, 2022 at 5:25 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - There’s no doubt traveling during the holidays can be stressful on its own and this week’s ice storm only made things worse. Thousands of travelers are having to postpone or cancel plans with their loved ones altogether.

“We hadn’t seen them since COVID and so we were like this is the year, but mother nature said no! Stay home! But we’re going to make the best of it,” Colleen Johnston said. She had a flight out to Boston to see her family this Christmas.

SEE ALSO: GALLERY: FOX 12 viewer photos & videos of icy Oregon

Instead of being a Grinch about her canceled flight, Johnston decided to lift people’s spirits the best way she knows how - with music.

“I have a travel guitar that I travel with, and I busted it out and was playin’,” she said. “This is a horrible situation and I felt bad, I saw people crying. I was like I don’t know; I can’t hug you stranger but maybe this song will make you happy? Maybe it lifted some spirits.”

Johnston played to an audience of hundreds of people who waited in lines for hours in hopes of getting on a plane, even if they don’t make in time for Christmas.

Including Camryn Lee and Stephanie Ciftci. They started off as strangers in line and bonded over their travel woes.

SEE ALSO: Ice storm has ended; warming temperatures continue through Christmas morning

“We have become really good friends waiting in this line for three hours now,” Lee said.

Both are hoping to make it to Tampa, Florida to see their families and stayed surprisingly positive after their flight was canceled Saturday morning.

“I guess if you get angry then it takes forever, it makes you feel bad. We’ve just been cracking jokes and talking about things we’d like to do if we ever get to our destination,” Lee said.