CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – If you’re heading out of town for the year-end holidays, you’re going to be in good company.
AAA reps say they’re expecting a record breaking number of Americans to travel, as more than 103 million people hit the roads and head to the airports.
Most of the travelers will be heading out to spend the holidays with their families, but warm destinations like Florida and Jamaica are also popular this season.
Wherever you’re going, you’re going to need to be prepared to deal with crowds. “People definitely need to plan ahead,” said Elizabeth Carey, Public Affairs Manager for AAA of Western and Central New York. “There’s going to be a lot of congestion, especially the way the holiday falls this year. Since Christmas is on a Sunday, and New years day is on a Sunday, it doesn’t give people a lot of time in advance to get to their destinations.”
Anyone flying out for the holidays is reminded to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before their scheduled departure. Buffalo Niagara International Airport officials say they’re expecting about 13,000 people to come through the terminals each day during this travel period.
The increased number of travelers throughout the year in our area could be a very good sign about our local economy. “You know, a lot of people are working right now, wages are up, unemployment is down, that’s getting a lot of people out there, and they’re saying ‘let’s take a trip, let’s celebrate the holidays with our family,’ and we expect a lot of people to go and do that,” Carey explained.
If you’re flying with gifts to celebrate the holidays, the TSA urges everyone to wait until they get to their final destinations to wrap them. You are allowed to take wrapped presents through the security screenings, but TSA screeners may have to unwrap them if closer inspection is required.