Tuesday is expected to be the busiest Thanksgiving travel day for airports

Tuesday is busiest travel day for airports during Thanksgiving week
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:40 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2022 at 7:02 AM EST
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WINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WFSB) - It’s Thanksgiving week and travelers are already in vacation mode.

Airlines and airports are expecting travel rates to reach pre-pandemic levels this holiday week.

Lines flowed smoothly at Bradley Airport Tuesday evening.

If you’re planning to head out to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving, come to the airport prepared.

Tuesday is projected to be the busiest travel day.

There are more than 48,000 expected flights this holiday week, so check with your airline for flight status before you leave, plan ahead, confirm your flight and allow for extra time.

Some passengers said they came prepared, and they really haven’t had many problems so far.

“Well we just got here. The highways are busier than the airport. Just walked in here, the security lines are empty, doesn’t look bad. I can imagine tomorrow’s going to look a lot worse,” said Bill Bontempi of Connecticut.

“I’m TSA Pre-check so I went right through, I think tomorrow is going to be the worst,” said Randee Bassin of Michigan.

“Flights have been on time, people on the airlines have treated us very graciously,” said Joe Austin of Baltimore.

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, travelers head into some of the most high-volume travel days of the year.

Lots of people are expected to hit the road or runway this week before breaking bread on Thursday

According to AAA, nearly 55 million people were expected to travel more than 50 miles ahead of Thanksgiving. That’s 1.5 percent increase over 2021 and 98 percent of pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.

In Connecticut, 600,000 residents are expected to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday.

To put all those numbers into perspective, it would mark the third busiest pre-Thanksgiving travel projection since AAA started keeping track in 2000.

“Families and friends are eager to spend time together this Thanksgiving, one of the busiest for travel in the past two decades,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “Plan ahead and be prepared for backups and delays whether you’re driving or flying as the roads and airports are expected to both be busy this Thanksgiving season.”

On their end, airlines said they are trying to prevent the cancellation chaos that plagued last Thanksgiving. They’ve added more pilots and adjusted schedules.

Aside from the crowds, the cost of tickets seemed to be the biggest source of irritation for travelers. Since last year, the price of airline tickets jumped 43 percent.

“I used all my points and it was still around $670 which is crazy,” said Alexandra Cohen, a Thanksgiving traveler. “Without my points, it would’ve been well over a thousand dollars.”

AAA said the busiest time on the roads will be Wednesday afternoon.

Filling up the tank with gas will cost travelers about 36 cents a gallon more than a year ago.

According to AAA, nearly 55 million people were expected to travel more than 50 miles ahead of Thanksgiving.
AAA expects hundreds of thousands of local residents to travel this Thanksgiving holiday.