Thanksgiving travelers return home after the holiday weekend

ROANOKE, Va. – Bellies are full and people have made the trek back home after the holiday weekend.

Sunday was a busy day for Thanksgiving travelers as their holiday festivities came to a close.

“A lot of things [are] all piled up at once. People can stagger what day they leave, sometimes, especially with remote work. But when it comes to getting back home, if they have to be back to work on Monday, most people try to fly back home on Sunday. So, it can be very very busy days at the airport,” said AAA Mid-Atlantic Spokesperson Morgan Dean.

AAA said TSA expects Sunday to be the busiest day they have ever seen in the history of TSA for checkpoints.

Dean predicted that there would be 2.9 million people being processed through. On the day before Thanksgiving, they processed 2.7 million people.

“Even if that weather is not in your area, if that’s affecting one of the big hubs and planes aren’t getting out of the hubs, that means your plane for the next flight may not be in the spot it’s supposed to be in. So, it really can be a big ripple effect,” Dean said.

With working from home becoming more of a norm, commuting to and from holiday festivities may look more spread out.

“It’s hard to say how big of a deal that is or how many people might be doing that to know exactly what that means for some of the traffic backups. But with these busy time periods where there’s so many people trying to travel at the same time, we do really start to see some of these bigger backups,” Dean said.

Airports weren’t the only congested area on Sunday. AAA said the roads were going to be packed as well, and even if you are doing everything right, with that number of cars on the road, traffic can be inevitable.


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Kelly Marsh joined the team in July 2023.