CHICAGO - The first wave of Thanksgiving holiday travel has commenced, and according to the Transportation Security Administration, it's set to break records.
O'Hare and Midway Airports are projected to screen nearly a million passengers in the next week, marking a significant surge in travel compared to recent years. For those embarking on Friday, there were no major delays or cancelations reported at either Chicago airport.
With a mix of flights and road trips, AAA anticipates that over 55 million people will travel during this holiday season, potentially causing travel-related chaos.
Despite concerns, travelers on Friday reported relatively smooth experiences, attributing their success to careful planning and early departures.
Alexander Toron, a traveler, expressed optimism about the journey.
"I'll be on time, and it will be a great time. I'm happy to get away—change of weather, change of atmosphere, family."
Debra Williams, another traveler, mentioned planning an early Thanksgiving celebration to avoid potential travel hassles on the holiday itself.
"We’re actually heading back on Thanksgiving Day, so, we’re having an early Thanksgiving. We planned it that way," she said.
The TSA projects that over 30 million people will fly from Friday through the 28th, partly attributed to the end of the years-long pandemic, prompting a resurgence in travel enthusiasm.
Amid the travel rush, the TSA provided guidance on Thanksgiving foods allowed for carry-on, including turkey, stuffing, apple pie, baked goods, and macaroni and cheese. However, liquids like gravy, wine, cranberry sauce, canned fruits, and veggies must be packed in checked bags.
The busiest travel day is anticipated to be Sunday, November 26, setting a record with nearly three million people expected to travel, aiming to return home after the holiday weekend.