The holiday travel season is here and millions of Americans will hit the roadways and travel by air this Thanksgiving.
“We’re just trying to get home before all of the craziness,” said Kailen Brant, an airline passenger traveling from North Texas to Colorado.
Several North Texans decided to head out of town on Monday in hopes of beating the rush.
“I was hoping that Monday would beat some of the rush,” said passenger Jim Sullyns.
Travel volume is expected to be within 5% of pre-pandemic levels. At Love Field, close to 400,000 passengers are expected to come through during Thanksgiving week.
“It’s really exciting for us, being down in the terminal, among all of the buzz,” said Chris Perry, external communications and marketing manager for Love Field. “It’s an exciting time at the airport and we’re happy to see people traveling again.”
According to AAA, more than 53.4 million people are expected to travel this Thanksgiving holiday. That’s up 13% from last year and more than 80% of those will travel by car.
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Mike and Melissa Czeszel thought they were being smart getting on the road early on Monday but found they weren’t the only ones.
“Usually leaving on a Monday midday is not too bad but there’s a lot of cars out here on the road already,” Creszel said.
A vaccine mandate for TSA employees went into effect on Monday, just three days before Thanksgiving and one day before travel is expected to ramp up significantly. Ninety-three percent of the agency’s employees are in compliance with the mandate so TSA officials said they did not expect it to impact holiday travel.
North Texas travelers said it was worth the hassle to get home to those who matter the most.
“Mom will be happy,” airline passenger Vince McKnight said. “I’m going back home and taking care of who took care of me, that’s what it’s all about, the holidays, we’re going to enjoy it.”
With the increase of travelers in the air and on the road – experts say it’s important to plan ahead and pack a lot of patience if you’re traveling this Thanksgiving.
Wednesday and Sunday are expected to be the busiest travel days during Thanksgiving week. Experts encourage those traveling by air to check with their airline ahead of time to ensure their flight is departing on time.