Passenger volume at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport increases during Christmas travel

ROANOKE, Va. – Christmas is now only five days away and if you're traveling Thursday or Friday you may want to give yourself some extra time.

Those two days are expected to be the busiest travel days if you're traveling by plane. Airlines for America says there will be a record of more than 45 million passengers. 

That's up about 5.2 percent from 2017, when their total was 43 million. To accommodate the increase, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport will have slightly larger aircraft that can seat up to 70 passengers instead of 50. 

"Here locally, we're going to be up about 6 percent. Very heavy loads (started) at the end of last week when most of the colleges and universities let out. And then is going to be busy again today through Sunday. And then starting on the 27th through the 30th, it will be quite busy as well," said Bradley Boettcher, director of Marketing and Air Service Development. 

TSA is sharing their top five tips to get you through end-of-year holiday travel.

First, arrive early to the airport.

Tip #2: Use your time in the checkpoint line wisely. Get all of your travel documents together to speed up the process.

Tip #3: Don't wrap gifts with wrapping paper and tape.

Tip #4: Traveling with food items during the holiday is OK.

Lastly, pack smart by not bringing any prohibited items.