Busy Thanksgiving travel already underway throughout South Bend

Published: Nov. 21, 2023 at 9:16 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - It’s the start of one the busiest travel weeks of the year. In fact, it’s expected to be one of the busiest in 18 years, according to the AAA.

It’s gearing up to be a busy travel week both on the roads and in the sky. AAA projects more than 55 million Americans are expected to travel over 50 miles from home — the highest number of expected travelers since 2005. Of those 55 million, 4.7 million will be flying out of airports across the country.

The Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving are the busiest travel days of the year, and that is expected to be seen locally. Officials with South Bend International Airport are expecting over 8,600 passengers to go through the checkpoint. So, be prepared for those longer lines.

“So, the busiest travel days are Tuesday, Wednesday this week, and Sunday, Monday.” said Julie Curtis, vice president of marketing and air service for South Bend International Airport. “So, travelers need to pack their patience. There will be a lot of people at airports. While we see increased traffic this time of year here in South Bend, you still don’t see those huge, huge lines, when you’re connecting through, or maybe when you’re connecting home. Be prepared for those two-hour arrival times before your departure.”

And some of those travelers were already out at South Bend International airport early Tuesday morning, getting ready to start their vacations.

“I’m going to San Diego,” said Dot Hansen. “For Thanksgiving with my family, I have one son and a family that live out there, so I’m looking forward to seeing them. It’s never anything but wonderful in San Diego, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Bigger travel numbers are expected out on the roads for this holiday week. That’s why Indiana State Troopers announced they are stepping up their patrol numbers during peak Thanksgiving holiday travel periods.

“Were getting down toward the holiday season, and with that come people traveling through the state of Indiana,” said Indiana State Trooper Matt Drudge. “Not only are you getting people coming from city-to-city within the state, but people coming from other states through Indiana. So, with that, we have a higher congestion of traffic.”

ISP suggests using caution when out in congested traffic, especially with conditions possibly being wet. Leave 15 minutes early for your destination and stay off your phone.