Thanksgiving travel expected to be at pre-pandemic volume

Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and a lot of people are getting started on their holiday travel plans. Airports are expected to be busy this holiday season, as travel bounces back from the pandemic.

Ermias Kebreab and his children were at SFO Friday afternoon to beat the thanksgiving travel rush and board a flight for an extended visit with family overseas.

"Driving out here was a little bit crowded but other than that it’s ok," said Kebreab. "But I see the line to security is quite long."

SFO expects a busy holiday travel season with its highest numbers since before the pandemic. An estimated 140,000 travelers are expected to pass through from Friday through Thanksgiving week. 

AAA anticipates more than 4.5 million Americans will fly over Thanksgiving. That’s up from 4.18 million last year. And expect Wednesday to be the busiest day at airports and on the roads.

"We’re right on par with pre-pandemic numbers as far as volume of people traveling. So, it’s going to be congested. There are a lot less flights. There are limited left in terms of what’s available, flying, compared to what we did in 2019. So, that volume with less availability means a lot of crowds," said Paula Twidale with AAA.

Airport officials are urging travelers to arrive early and use apps to check in whenever possible. They also warn parking lots will be busy and could fill up, so plan ahead.