COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Travel numbers are up during this holiday week, with nearly 47 million Americans are expected to travel to be with friend and family on Thanksgiving according to AAA.
This is the highest total holiday travel numbers since 2007, and of those people traveling, 3.6 million are expected to fly, the highest number since 2008.
Columbus Airport has three flights flying to connecting flights in Atlanta each day until the end of the holiday weekend. Travelers can expect those 3 flights to be full. Columbus Airport is urging travelers to plan for extra travel time, pack light, and expect to check your bags.
"You know pack your stuff, remember your 311. But then pack a lot of patients, because it will be easy to getting through Columbus to get into Atlanta. But it will be busy up in Atlanta, there is going to be a lot of people so just pack your patients and be calm and you will get to where you are going," Airport Director Richard C Howell said. "The Columbus Airport will see an increase in the number of passengers per say. But what general happens in a market this size we actually see a decrease in the number of flights. So while our schedule is adjusting over the next couple of days, the schedule adjust down a little bit but the flights yeah they will be full."
At 5:30 p.m. on Monday, the US State Department issued a worldwide travel alert. The State Department issued the alert due to increased terrorist threats.
Transportation Security Administration is currently operating with only 40,609 screeners, 5,000 fewer than in 2007. However Director Howell says that this has not impacted the Columbus Airport at all.
A couple of other reminders, make sure your electronics are fully charged before you leave, make sure you fill up your car with gas the night before, and if you are bringing any type of presents, whether it be a side dish for Thanksgiving or an early holiday gift, make sure they are unwrapped.
Airline carriers stress the importance of arriving at the airport at least an hour and a half before your scheduled departure, so make sure to plan for extra time due to the worldwide travel alert issued by the U.S. State Department.