Airport, roads set to be taken over by holiday travelers

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Thanksgiving is always the busiest travel season of the year, and AAA is expecting near-record levels of travelers here in central Ohio this year, the highest number since 2005.

It doesn’t matter if you’re driving or flying, just pack your patience because it’s going to be crowded out there.

On Tuesday, there was a constant crowd and buzz at the John Glenn International Airport. Some were traveling for business, others were starting their holiday travel, wanting to be Wednesday’s rush.

So whether you’re hitting the road or jumping on a plane, AAA predicts 2.3 million Ohioans are planning to travel at least 50 miles from home, which means the potential for more traffic nightmares.

So, some are trying to avoid them.

“I’m leaving today because of the weather, first of all, because I want to get out ahead of the winds and the storms if they’re coming through,” said David Jennison, of Gahanna.

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“Just to get an early start on the holiday and spend as much time with family as possible,” said Hussam Fustok, of Columbus.

A spokesperson with AAA adds nearly 200,000 people will be flying, but the weather could play a role in your holiday travel plans, so remember to keep an eye on your flight.

“Make sure you get to the airport in plenty of time,” said Kimberly Schwind, a spokesperson for AAA. “We’re recommending at least two hours before your flight.”

The FAA website offers a flight delay map travelers can use to see where flights are delayed.

But if you’re hitting the road, there are a few things you need to be on the lookout for — orange barrels and law enforcement.

“We are used to not spending the holidays with our families, but we’re out there working so you can spend the holiday with your family and have a peace of mind,” said Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson Robert Seller.

Expect to see state highway patrol cruisers around central Ohio, and use it as a reminder to slow down and pay attention.

According to ODOT, Wednesday and Sunday are the two busiest days for travel during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Wednesday’s peak is expected to be between 3 and 4 in the afternoon, so just remember to try and plan ahead if you can.

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