Thanksgiving travelers pack roads, airports

November 21, 2012 12:04:04 PM PST
Wednesday is one of the busiest travel days of the year, with millions of people flying or driving to get away for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Many travelers saw slick roads Wednesday morning. There were three sig-alerts around the Bay Area, with problems like single car spinouts and rollovers due to wet roadways.

And many of those who chose to fly experienced long lines at San Francisco International Airport. About 120,000 people are expected to fly in and out of SFO on Wednesday alone. It's been an ebb and flow throughout the morning.

At 6:30 a.m., SFO was filled with a rush of travelers and long lines -- nothing unexpected really on this day before Thanksgiving...

We met one woman hoping to avoid the rush who arrived here at 7:30 last night for her 6:30 flight to Los Angeles, "I'm just here early because I thought there were going to be lines and a lot of people," Tatianna Barber said. "But, turns out that they're not even open yet."

But the long lines out here come and go. And by 9 a.m. Terminal 2 looked about like it does most days, "Although we have heavy passenger loads today, right before the holiday, we are actually getting them out in an expedited way, and they're moving on their way to their holiday destination," SFO spokesperson Nancie Parker said.

And look at that, flight after flight arriving earlier than scheduled, an indication that things were smooth at other airports early Wednesday morning.

The Alberts family of Burlingame just flew in from Los Angeles, "Big crowds," said Burlingame resident Torven Alberts. When asked if his flight was delayed, Torven said, "No."

The lack of delays Wednesday morning allowed people to focus on the purpose of their trip, Tiburon resident Lynn Spitler is heading to Grand Rapids Michigan, "My daughter and her husband and four children also live in California, in Danville, so they're going to be meeting us there, so we've got a big party."

Seattle resident Carmen Loh flew through SFO on her way to Sacramento, "I'm thankful to be with my husband and family and friends, and it's just one of my favorite holidays to just get everyone together."

This day used to be the busiest travel day of the year. Now it's third place in Thanksgiving travel behind last Friday. And the biggest travel day of the Thanksgiving week, this coming Sunday when everybody comes home.

Also a big heads up for those flying to Los Angeles International Airport today -- officials at LAX are advising passengers to give themselves a three hour cushion at the airport, and an extra 90 minutes to get there. About one thousand airport workers and supporters plan to march today to protest terminated union contracts and the elimination of health insurance.


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