Vacation travel 2021: Chicago’s O’Hare, Midway, roads expected to be busy this Thanksgiving week

CHICAGO (WLS) – Travelers have already started packing roads and airports, leaving to visit loved ones on Thanksgiving and looking like they did before the COVID pandemic.

Those who travel should expect a very busy week for the Thanksgiving holiday.

O’Hare expects more than 1.2 million passengers between Tuesday and next Monday.

In Midway, the number is around 288,000.

“We’re two and a half times as many as last year, so it’s a lot busier, with a lot of people who haven’t flown for a long time,” the Chicago aviation spokesperson said, Christine Carrino.

This year marks the biggest increase in single-year travel during Thanksgiving since 2005, bringing the United States close to pre-pandemic numbers.

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“You are leaving early enough; This is the problem. People aren’t leaving early enough, ”said traveler Lorraine Pearson. “My flight isn’t until 10:40 am, but you see, I’m here and ready for whatever might happen.”

Nationwide, TSA is bracing for around 20 million air passengers this week, through Sunday
“Make sure you’re organized and prepared so it’s busier than usual, of course,” said traveler Collin Wanek.

And it’s not just airports; AAA predicts that more than 53 million people plan to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday across the board.

Despite extremely high gas prices, 90% of people traveling plan to travel by car.

Experts are warning people to prepare for more congested roads and airports.

It is a celebration trip that Meenakshi Sharma has been waiting for. She and her friend travel by plane, train and car to California to celebrate their 50th birthday.

“I thought the airports weren’t that busy and I came very well prepared. But then it’s nice and crowded, which I’m happy about. I like the crowds, I like to see people,” Sharma said.

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