From the beginning, it's apparent that Neal and Del are odd bedfellows destined for a mad-cap journey from New York to Chicago. A snowstorm causes their flight from JFK to O'Hare to divert to Wichita, leading to a three-day, error-prone adventure.
Multiple arguments between the men result in a night in a seedy motel, their money being stolen, and the eventual purchase of train tickets to Chicago. When the train breaks down leaving all passengers stranded, the pair decide to hike to the nearest Midwestern town in the hopes of catching another way to their destination.
Thinking he is helping, Del sells his stock in the shower ring business in exchange for two tickets on a bus. To St. Louis. Obviously another argument ensues and the pair decided to go their separate ways all to be, again, fatefully reunited once Neal fails at securing a rental car and taxi to Chicago.
Through all of these disagreements and fumbles, the two finally begin to see the good in each other. After a few more hurdles and a chilly ride towards the Windy City, the men close in on their destination as they finally warm to their budding friendship.
Without spoiling the end of the movie, we can just say that travel truly brings all types of people together. With a few cool shots of Chicago's 'El' trains, the human element shines through all of the diversity.