LINTHICUM, Md. — Many families will be celebrating their first Thanksgiving together this year since the pandemic began.
It also means many people will be hitting the roads, headed to the airport, or taking the train on Wednesday.
Thanksgiving traffic at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is set to be down 15 to 20 percent from pre-pandemic holiday levels. Travelers shouldn’t let that fool them as TSA officials said passengers should still expect a crowd.
An estimated 31,000 passengers are expected to fly out of BWI Wednesday, on top of about 30,000 people who flew out on Tuesday.
This time last year airports across the country were pretty empty. Many Americans just were not willing to risk holiday travel because of Covid.
Americans are anxious to see family and loved ones again, and are making up for lost time. The TSA is expected to screen nearly 20 million people at airports across the country during this busy Thanksgiving week.
Airports typically get the most attention this time of year but flying actually isn't the most popular means of holiday transportation.
AAA estimated about 48 million people will hop in their car some time over the next few days and drive to their Thanksgiving dinner.
Car travel is up over 80 percent over last year when so many families decided to stay home during the pandemic.
Amtrak officials said the busiest time for train travel is also the same as it is at airports, the two days before thanksgiving and the Sunday after.
All passengers should remember they will also have to wear a mask whether taking a plane or train to their destination.
Anyone headed to the airport should be sure to leave early and be prepared to stand in line.
TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said “basically it's going to be busy, busy, busy. We're seeing traffic at airports back to very close to pre-pandemic levels. And, actually yesterday was the fifth consecutive day of two million or more passengers who came to checkpoints nationwide.”
For those not flying but headed out by car to celebrate Thanksgiving, AAA’s advice for the best time to hit road is after 8 o'clock Wednesday night.