Friday started a busy travel weekend before Christmas

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Friday was expected to be a busy travel day on the roads and at the airports, four days before the Christmas holiday.

While AAA predicted the busiest air travel days would fall on Saturday, Dec. 22, Sunday, Dec. 23 and Wednesday, Dec. 26, Friday was busy enough at the John Glenn Columbus International Airport that one man and his family missed their flight.

John Maloney of Dublin said he and his family got to the airport about two hours before their flight, which was heading to Los Angeles, with San Francisco their final desination.

“In Columbus, normally you don’t have to be two hours [early], but we knew it would be really busy cause it’s close to the holiday,” Maloney said.

Still, they ran into a problem as they waited in line.

“The check-in line, I’ve never seen it that long,” Maloney said. “It was going so slow, they hardly even moved it along.”

Maloney said his wife was told they had not made it in time to check their bag. About 30 minutes before the flight was scheduled to take off, they were told they could get on the flight without their bag or miss the flight.

Maloney spoke to NBC4 as his wife and daughter waited at the Delta counter for more information. Ultimately, Maloney said, they were told their miles would be refunded, but that they weren’t able to fly to California that day. He wasn’t sure whether they would end up going at all.

“Yeah, I’m not too happy about it, but what can I do at this point?” Maloney said.

He said fellow travelers in line ended up in the same position.

The airport was busy early on, with plenty of people flying into and out of central Ohio for the holidays.

“I knew it was supposed to get busy so I was like, ‘We should probably get there as soon as possible,'” said Leann Hayes, a Reynoldsburg woman who was flying to Marco Island with her family.

The lines got much smaller as the morning went on.

“We’ve been here in the past where the lines have been crazy, so we tried to get here a little bit earlier today,” Elaine Pelz said. “It’s moving, so it doesn’t look like it’s that bad.”

According to AAA, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are both expected to be lighter travel days, followed by another busy day on December 26.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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