Thanksgiving Travel Rush: What to Expect

PHOTO: Evening traffic on Interstate 405 in Los Angeles is pictured in this undated stock photo.PlayCorbis via Getty Images
WATCH Winter Storm to Impact Millions Over Holiday Weekend

One of the busiest travel days of the year is upon us.

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More than 48 million people across the country are expected to hit the roads, skies and rails for the Thanksgiving holiday -- one that the Transportation Security Administration says could be one of the busiest on record.

Transportation and security officials say they are prepared for the rush, but travelers should expect crowds no matter how they travel.

Airlines for America, the nation's largest airline trade group, says today is projected to be the third busiest day of the travel period, with 2.55 million U.S. airline passengers.

The Sunday and Monday following Thanksgiving could see 2.81 million and 2.64 million passengers, respectively.

So far, flights are generally arriving and departing on time.

The airports in Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles are expected to see the highest number of passengers this Thanksgiving travel period.

On Wednesday morning, all three are indicating that flights are generally on time.

Weather in Houston this morning delayed a small number of flights after the Federal Aviation Administration established a minor ground stop, but that is expected to clear up.

Airlines will keep a close eye on winter weather near major travel hubs. If bad weather hits the big cities, it could have a ripple effect across the country.

New York City experienced severe wind this week and FAA air traffic controllers will continue to monitor the weather conditions.

Generally, when wind speeds reach 30 mph or higher, it is not safe for airlines to land and the controllers must close the runways.

When winds reach 55 mph and up, FAA air traffic controllers will clear the tower.

Weather is not only a threat to those in the skies; workers on the ground are also at risk.

According to AAA, 43.5 million Americans are planning a road trip this week.

Low gasoline prices around the nation has led to more drivers on the nation's highway system this year, so expect gridlock this holiday season.

According to the traffic app Waze, users traveling the day before Thanksgiving last year reported a 33 percent increase in accident alerts, a 26 percent increase in hazard alerts and a 20 percent increase in traffic jam alerts.

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