Airports, roads expected to see record number of holiday travelers

BLOUNTVILLE, TN (WJHL) – Over the next couple of days, airports and roads are expected to see a record number of holiday travelers.

AAA says 103 million people will travel this year. That includes 93 million people who will hit the road and about 6 million that plan to fly.

Florida resident Stephen Pinkston touched down at the Tri-Cities Airport Thursday afternoon to visit his mom Debbie for Christmas.

“I’m so glad, I couldn’t wait to have him here,” Debbie Pinkston said.

He’s part of the influx of travelers airport officials expect this holiday weekend.

“We’ll see a lot of extra traffic, foot traffic, folks picking people up as well as dropping people off to fly,” Director of Marketing and Air Service Development, Kristi Haulsee said.

Haulsee said Thursday, Friday and Monday following Christmas are some of the busiest days at the airport, with extra flights and larger aircrafts coming in.

“We recommend that folks check their airline schedule online,” Haulsee said. “Be prepared and get here early – if you’re flying Allegiant you want to be here at least two hours early, for other airlines American and Delta an hour and a half early.”

The bigger crowds aren’t only coming to the airport. Johnson City police say Friday will be a busy day on the roads, too.

“I’m going to get out of the office to work the road,” Lieutenant Scotty Carrier said.

Carrier said Friday is their biggest crash day of the year, and with last minute shoppers out and about tomorrow, he warns drivers to be cautious.

“Stay focused on driving at hand and make sure that you obey all the rules of the road,” said Carrier.

Airport officials also mentioned to those travelling with presents, it may be a smart idea to not wrap them before getting on the plane or bring some extra wrapping paper, because if your present alarms the security system they may have to unwrap the gift.

The Tri-Cities Airport also said it has not experienced any delays so far.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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