Bustling Thanksgiving travel already underway at local airports

travelers at O'Hare Airport
Photo credit Nancy Harty

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) - Your Thanksgiving turkey may still be frozen but plenty of people are getting ready to travel for the holiday.

The Department of Aviation doesn’t consider Thanksgiving travel to officially start until Tuesday but you would not know that looking around Terminal 1.

Not everyone flying this week is going to grandmother’s house. We’ve seen a marching band from New York and a Tejano band from Mexico traveling for gigs.

Alicia Altiery is flying to Puerto Rico to watch her granddaughter play in a softball tournament and spend Thanksgiving with her sister.

“There’s friends out there…We’re hoping to catch up with them and just enjoy…I have not been to Puerto Rico since 2012…I’m looking forward to this,” Altiery said.

Spencer from Brookfield wrangled his family to get out the door for their early flight to Colorado Springs, where he’s eager to see more relatives and meet his sister’s new boyfriend.

“I’m excited to meet him in person and not just over the phone, other than that, it’s just the first time that all of our siblings have been together in just over a year-and-a-half now,” Spencer said.

Chicago Aviation Department Spokeswoman Georgiaree Godfrey said the airlines have told them to expect 1.65 million passengers to come through between Tuesday and next Monday.

“At O’Hare, that means a 1.5 percent increase in the number of passengers from this time last year. And, at Midway, that’s almost a 1 percent increase,” Godfrey said. “Now, the busiest travel day for both airports is going to be Sunday…close to 230,000 passengers are expected at O’Hare and about 59,000 at Midway.”

They are encouraging passengers to arrive two hours before your flight, and, with rain in the forecast, that could be even more important.

The TSA security line snaked around Monday morning, but the sign said it would only take about ten minutes.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Nancy Harty