ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some Stateline families won't have to worry about the ice and snow for the next few days, a flight carrying around 160 passengers took off Friday from the Chicago Rockford International Airport bound for Phoenix, Arizona.
Greg Kaberg is swapping his snow shovel for shorts this year; he and his family of 5 are spending their first Christmas with relatives in Phoenix, Arizona.
“This is the first time we've been able to spend Christmas down there and we wanted to do that while the kids can enjoy it and not have every Christmas in the arctic cold," says Kaberg.
The arctic cold likely won't be on Kayberg’s mind while in Phoenix, the forecast is for sunshine and 61 degrees over the weekend, a change many passengers can't wait to step into.
“I just want to feel the sun soaking into my skin and not have to put on my hat and gloves and coat and everything,” says Lori Fishe.
"It is a bit bizarre to go to where the palm trees are and warm temperatures but after today, I have no problems with that,” says Tom Murphy.
A dedicated crew of 20 airport employees has been working for the last 24 hours to keep the runways clear so passengers don't have to miss a moment of their vacations in sunny Phoenix.
"We wouldn't be able to go if they didn't do something like that. We're sitting here watching how they’re working constantly for the plane coming in. I’m glad they're out there," says Kathy Bilof
A few families say they'll miss having a white Christmas but look forward to a flurry free vacation.
A spokesperson with UPS says it’s business as usual at the Rockford air hub. The company has limited flights on Saturday and they expect the worst of the storm to be over before sorting on Sunday. Any weather related delays can be looked up with your zip code at ups.com