Source: NBC RightNow
PASCO, Wash. – The holiday season is here and that means more people are taking to the roads and the skies over the next few weeks.
Tri-Cities Airport Director Buck Taft says the holiday travel season is busy, but less stressful now that Thanksgiving has passed.
“Thanksgiving holiday is really the more stressful,” says Taft. “Because it is a peak of one or two days of mass travelers where Christmas holiday is spread out over a couple weeks.”
Taft says the airport has seen full flights since October and the staff is ready to handle the holiday travel.
Taft recommends travelers to arrive for their flights at the airport an hour and a half to two hours before their departure time.
“TSA equipment fails, baggage equipment fails, things happen,” says Taft. “It’s nice to get here early, get through, get to the back, relax and wait for your flight.”
Getting through security on time may not be the biggest problem of this holiday travel season.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Thorson says the problems come with the weather and road conditions away from the airport- a problem he experienced with his family.
“We just flew to Texas and our flight was cancelled out of Pasco,” says Thorson. “We had to pack up, drive up to Spokane in inclement weather, freezing cold, you know we got there at 6 a.m.”
Triple-A says 113-million people are expected to hit the highways and skyways this holiday season, 3.6-million more people than last year.
Trooper Thorson says you need to be prepared if you’re driving for the holidays.
“The roads have not been good,” says Thorson. “Pack extra stuff in your car because people are actually getting stuck out on the highway.”
With inflation impacting travel costs and airfare increasing for the holidays, Taft says people are not changing their travel plans.
Taft says, “Planes are full and people are flying.”
Washington State Department of Transportation has estimated delay times for holiday travel by roads.
You can also check Tripcheck for real-time road conditions, and track your flights directly through the Tri-Cities Airport website.