Travelers head home after Thanksgiving weekend

November 28, 2011 4:46:34 AM PST
People headed home after the Thanksgiving holiday Sunday, making it one of the busiest travel days of the year in the air and on the road.

On Sunday evening, travel conditions were not too busy but Chicago area airports and roads may see more congestion as the night wears on.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, travel looks good except for those heading to and from New York and New Jersey, where they're experiencing long weather delays.

More than 1.7 million people are estimated to be going through both O'Hare and Midway this holiday weekend. While O'Hare's busiest day was Wednesday, Midway's is Sunday. Despite the persistent rain, most of the flights in and out of Midway are on time.

"It looks pretty good in here. Hopefully we'll get out of here with the weather and everything," said holiday traveler Savella Myers. Despite recently being named one of the five worst weather airports nationwide, O'Hare has been relatively quiet Sunday without too many crowds and delays averaging only about 15 minutes. Marsha Wernet came back from Canada a day early.

"We were supposed to come back tomorrow, flew stand-by today, got on a flight and we can't figure out why the flight was half empty. It was weird there were no travelers," said holiday traveler Marsh Wernet.

According to AAA, an estimated 42.5 million people overall flew, drove or took a train to their Thanksgiving destinations. That's the highest number since the start of the recession, even taking into account an average 20 percent increase in travel costs.

Even though about 90 percent of those 40 million-plus people drove, the roads around Chicago Sunday have not been too congested, yet.

"It went pretty well. We came from Madison and went to visit our family in New York dtate. The weather was good most of the time and the roads were pretty clear," said holiday traveler Laurie Reinhardt.

"The roads have been lightly travelled, not as much traffic, especially here in the Chicago area that we're used to," said holiday traveler Jason Manor.

As for rail travel, Amtrak tells us they have all available coaches going to and from Chicago. According to AAA, however, only about 2 percent of Thanksgiving travel is done on trains and buses.


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