Travelers come and go from Mountain State for Thanksgiving holiday

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Thanksgiving Eve is known for being the busiest travel day every year and 2019 is no different.

AAA is expecting 2019 to be the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000, trailing only the record-setting 58.6 million traveling in 2005. Around 55 million travelers are expected during the Thanksgiving holiday period, which is defined as Thanksgiving Eve through the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Travelers will use automobiles, planes, trains, and other modes of transportation to get to families on the holiday which is true for the Kalo family, who was traveling Wednesday to Florida.

“We are traveling to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, visiting family who resident in Davie, Florida, our daughter,” Dan Kalo from St. Albans told MetroNews at Yeager Airport in Charleston.

“I’m sure our flight will be full today (Wednesday). We are going to have a layover in Charlotte, I’m sure it will be packed there. Once we land in Fort Lauderdale Hollywood, it’ll be a madhouse down there.”

AAA said with 4.6 percent growth, air travel will see the biggest increase in travel volume during the Thanksgiving holiday, with 4.45 million Americans expected to fly.

One couple from Bradenton, Florida made it into Yeager Airport early Wednesday morning. They told MetroNews their day began at 3 a.m. before flying out of Tampa Bay at 5 a.m. and catching a connecting flight to Charleston at Charlotte.

They are staying in a cabin with extended family at Rippling Waters Campground in Kenna for Thanksgiving.

“We come here every year for Thanksgiving. It’s a family tradition,” the couple said.

Their travel from the airport will include busy interstates. AAA expects around 49 million travelers on the road, the most since 2005 and 2.8 percent more than last year.

That is a reason why Kalo said his family preferred to fly.

“I was thinking today (Wednesday) is going to be crazy on the West Virginia Turnpike. There will be a lot of people going through the tollbooths. I’m sure they will have a lot of activity,” he said.

Travel by other modes, including trains, buses, and cruise ships, will reach 1.49 million travelers, a slight increase of 1.4 percent from 2018, a AAA release said.

Travelers are defined in AAA’s numbers by someone who is traveling 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving.