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Holiday Travel Season Underway, Busiest Days Still To Come

Orlando International Airport. Photo: Renata Sago.
Orlando International Airport. Photo: Renata Sago.

The holiday travel season is officially underway. AAA predicts that the Orlando metro area will be the most popular Thanksgiving destination in the country, but the busiest travel days are still to come.

An estimated 1.8 million passengers will travel through Orlando International Airport during the two-week-long Thanksgiving travel period, up nearly six percent from last year.

Airport officials project the busiest day will be Saturday with more than 150,000 passengers traveling through the airport's terminal.

The airport is ready for the influx of passengers but Authority CEO Phil Brown said they should prepare for longer lines. “It may be a little bit longer than usual in getting through the checkpoint."

The Airport Authority and TSA have ramped up staffing for the holiday travel period. “We have extra lanes this year, more than we had last year, lots of extra staffing, more canines, so we’re ready for it," said TSA Federal Security Director Jerry Henderson.

Henderson says passengers should be aware of what’s expected before they head into security line.

The roads will be busy, too. About 2.5 million Floridians hitting the roads over Thanksgiving weekend according to projections from AAA. The association says gas prices will be lower than last year by about ten cents.

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to Central Florida in 2005 to attend the University of Central Florida. He began working at WMFE as a college intern where he discovered his love for public radio.