COLUMBUS, OHIO (WCMH) — AAA is expecting more than 47 million Americans to travel this holiday weekend.
2.2 million of those travelers are in Ohio, a 3.8 percent increase from last year’s travel numbers.
AAA says this will be a record-breaking weekend for travel and delays are expected to start as early as Thursday.
Columbus airport officials say 14,000 flyers are expected to depart from John Glenn International Airport each day this holiday weekend.
Airline cancellations are happening nationwide due to big crowds and staffing shortages. Talk of cancellations nationwide have Columbus flyers like Mohamed Koroma feeling anxious.
“Our flights have been canceled a lot of times online before we came here but we are leaving on time,” Koroma said.
Koroma said his connecting flight to his final destination was originally supposed to go through Washington D.C. but is now to Chicago. He said this has been canceled and changed multiple times in the last 24 hours.
According to Flight Aware, there have been only four flight cancellations in Columbus on Wednesday and Thursday.
Overall, travelers say this airport is a smoother ride. But they say the roads are a different story.
“The traffic was bad to get here,” said Mary Lynn Naughton. “It feels like the holidays are picking up already.”
AAA is predicting 2.1 million Ohioans will drive to their Fourth of July destination. The company is expecting to get more than 400,000 calls for emergency roadside assistance during the holiday weekend.
Spokesperson Kimberly Schwind wants to remind travelers to take their time and do a car inspection before hitting the road.
“Just make sure that your car is road trip ready so that you don’t experience those breakdowns,” Schwind said. “And also pack that emergency roadside kit in your car with jumper cables, first aid kit, extra snacks and water for everybody in the car.”
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers ask drivers to be vigilant on the roads, don’t speed and arrive alive.
“Make sure that you plan ahead, make sure that you understand that there may be slow downs because there is so much traffic on the roadways. Planning ahead means that you may not be tempted to speed to get to your destination quicker or on time,” said Sgt. Brice Nihiser, a Public Information Officer for the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol says they will be increasing patrolling for the weekend and drivers should be on the lookout for behavior that can cause crashes.
“Speed, impaired driving, marked lane violations . . . all those things that can contribute to our crash picture, that’s what we are going to be looking for this weekend,” Nihiser said.
AAA recommends leaving either early in the morning or later at night to avoid jams on the roadways.