CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — With the storm heading toward Western New York, many travelers are scrambling to get to their holiday destinations early.

“It’s a roll of the dice. You just got to take your chances and hopefully your flight will stay on time and you will get there and get back safely,” Joseph Kaczmarczyk of Lackawanna said before his flight to Maryland. “It’s a relief. I don’t want to get caught up in the airports and delays and things like that.”

The Buffalo-Niagara International Airport was buzzing with travelers coming in and out of Buffalo. Many are trying to make it home for the holidays before Mother Nature brings severe weather to the region.

Snow, wind and dangerous temperatures are on the way, disrupting holiday travel across the country. Passengers flying out Wednesday were happy they booked in advance of the storm.

“Actually we got very lucky. We had already planned to leave today, but I’m really, really happy we didn’t plan to leave on Friday or something,” Kevin Crosby said before heading to South Carolina.

Delays and cancellations are already happening. Aisha Waseem drove across the border from Toronto, Ontario to catch a flight. When she got to the airport, she learned she wasn’t getting out Wednesday. Now, she isn’t sure if her flight on Friday will make it out either.

“We don’t know if we should head back to Toronto or if we should sit in the hotel right now. There’s no certainty around anything right now, so we will see where it goes,” Waseem said.

Some arriving passengers were met with hugs from loved ones excited they made it home for the holidays. Among them, Capt. John Waide of the U.S. Army who just finished six months serving in Iraq.

“I just tonight finally got to get home. Then this morning with the storms rolling through, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to get home for Christmas,” Capt. Waide said.

His family traveled from Wellsville to greet him. They were grateful nothing stopped him from getting home for the holidays.

“We’re thankful the weather was cooperative today. We hope everyone else gets home safe to their families for Christmas. That’s what it’s all about,” Arielle Szabo added.

The Buffalo Bills announced Wednesday afternoon they will be flying out of Buffalo on Thursday rather than Friday, trying to ensure they’ll make it to Chicago for their Christmas Eve matchup with the Bears.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.