The holiday season has arrived and millions of Americans will be hitting the roads and taking to the air for Thanksgiving.
“We’re just trying to get home before all the madness is all over the place,” said Kailen Brant, an airline passenger traveling from north Texas to Colorado.
Several Northern Texans decided to leave the city on Monday in the hope of beating the hustle and bustle.
“I was hoping Monday would cancel out some of the rush,” said passenger Jim Sullyns.
The volume of trips is expected to be less than 5% of pre-pandemic levels. At Love Field, nearly 400,000 passengers are expected to pass through Thanksgiving week.
“It’s really exciting for us to be in the terminal, among all the buzz,” said Chris Perry, head of external communications and marketing for Love Field. “It is an exciting time at the airport and we are happy to see people traveling again.”
According to AAA, more than 53.4 million people are expected to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday. This is an increase of 13% from last year and more than 80% of them will travel by car.
Mike and Melissa Czeszel thought they were smart hitting the road early Monday, but found they weren’t the only ones.
“Usually going on a Monday lunchtime isn’t too bad, but there are already a lot of cars here on the road,” Creszel said.
A vaccination mandate for TSA employees went into effect Monday, just three days before Thanksgiving and one day before travel is expected to increase significantly. Ninety-three percent of agency employees are in compliance with the mandate, so TSA officials said they didn’t expect it to have an impact on vacation travel .
Travelers to North Texas have said it is worth returning home with those who matter most.
“Mom will be happy,” said airline passenger Vince McKnight. “I go home and take care of who took care of me, that’s what it’s all about, the holidays, we’re going to enjoy it.”
With the number of travelers in the air and on the road increasing, experts say it’s important to plan ahead and be very patient if you’re traveling for Thanksgiving.
Wednesday and Sunday are expected to be the busiest travel days during Thanksgiving week. Experts encourage those traveling by plane to check with their airline in advance to make sure their flight leaves on time.