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Officials at BWI Airport prepare for busiest travel day of year

Officials at BWI Airport prepare for busiest travel day of year
Officials at BWI Airport prepare for busiest travel day of year 02:31

BALTIMORE -- Expect roads and airports to be busy if you are waiting until the last minute to travel to your Thanksgiving destination.

The eve of Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year, and AAA is predicting more than 54 million people will go 50 miles or more from home for the holiday by air or road.

The Maryland Aviation Administration says 32,000 people are expected to travel through BWI on Wednesday.

Experts say the Sunday after Thanksgiving will be even busier as mass amounts of people return home, which is projected to bring about 34,000 in and out of BWI. 

The influx of passengers across the country is being met with preparations that airlines have undergone for some time now. 

Over the last several years, there has been a strain on airline carriers from the pandemic, staffing shortages and weather woes that left passengers stranded. 

However, experts say this holiday travel season has started to bounce back in part due to filling vacancies.

Experts also attribute the change in travel flow to the Federal Transportation officials who cracked down on airlines this fall after a high number of delays and cancellations over the summer holiday season. 

This included urging carriers to hire more staff, clean up schedules and clarify their customer service options if a flight is derailed. 

"It's been tough for the airlines over the last couple years with cancellations because of labor issues," Ricky Smith of the Maryland Aviation Administration said. "I think they've beefed up their staffing levels to make sure that they minimize cancellations during this period because just imagine, it would be devastating for a passenger to get to a family member's home because of an aircraft cancellation."

Flight Aware has reported zero cancellations at BWI in the last 24 hours and one departure delay on Nov. 23. 

BWI is reminding passengers to check with their airline directly for the latest information on their flight and arrive at least two hours before getting ready to take off.

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