Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The holiday rush is in full effect right now. Tens of thousands of Marylanders and millions of Americans are on the road.
Mike Hellgren has more on the big rush out of town.
The lines at BWI Marshall’s busy Southwest terminal were long. And at Maryland’s busiest toll plaza– the Fort McHenry Tunnel– the lines were long too. Around 160,000 people will pass through it by midnight.
No day is as packed for Thanksgiving travel as this one.
It was enough to make some scream, but others took it all in stride.
“Definitely extra time. Always leave extra time because I worry about it,” one traveler at the airport said.
“They got bumped from two flights, but the third one was a charm, so they got here OK,” one person said.
“I’m pregnant so this would probably be the first flight that I’ll be taking,” a traveler said. “His family hasn’t seen me and we haven’t seen them in a while.”
There are a handful of delays at BWI Marshall, but most of the planes are getting in on time. Some 36,000 people will arrive here Wednesday.
“This is like the Super Bowl for travel,” said Jonathan Dean, an official at the BWI Marshall Airport. “Airports and airlines, we work very hard throughout the year to plan and prepare for this Thanksgiving travel period.”
Other areas nationwide fared worse.
A strong storm system brought rain in the Pacific Northwest where getting around was like swimming upstream.
And there was snow and ice, too. But none here.
Proud papa Pat O’Neil couldn’t wait to welcome his daughter home from college.
“I think she was up early and at the airport three hours early, so she may not act like she wants to be home but I think she really does,” he said.
…Thankful for a smooth trip and this reunion.
“I’m ready to go back,” O’Neil’s daughter said.
The busiest day for her to return would be on Sunday.
Travelers flying Southwest should note that there is a new security checkpoint to move things along on the lower level. Also, if you’re driving, you can get up-to-date traffic information if you dial 511.