AAA expects a surge of travelers this holiday season


BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s a busy time of year for just about everyone, as tens of millions will be packing their bags and taking to the roads or the air.

“Get to the airport as early as possible, give yourself some time to relax. get through security. There are going to be lines depending on what time you come in,” said Helen Tederous, who’s the NFTA director of public affairs.

“You might get a time where there is a lot of hustle and bustle so it’s a good idea to get to the airport early, especially if you are in a large metro area. these airports are extremely busy you want to be there at least two hours in advance,” said AAA WCNY Director of Public Relations Elizabeth Carey.

This holiday season AAA is expecting both the roads and skies to be crowded. Officials say air travel alone is up around 180% from last year as people fly out to visit friends and family during the holidays.

“We’re heading down to Florida to see the in-laws and to be in warmer weather. The weather looks great around there,” said Erin Ranic who was traveling out of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Thursday.

“I’m so excited. I haven’t seen my grandkids in about a year and one of my oldest granddaughters I haven’t seen her since June,” said Tiffany Sikes, who was flying out to North Carolina with family for the holidays.

More travelers this year, means longer lines at the airport.

“Honestly, anything is pretty easy when you plan ahead. We got here in plenty of time obviously having a baby makes it a little more difficult but that’s why we wanted to get here extra early,” said Paul Bologna.

“Everything is moving smoothly so far, fingers crossed,” Sikes said.

Travelers say they’re making up for lost time since last year during the height of the pandemic, they decided not to travel out of New York state.

“I know our grandparents are going to be thrilled to see this little one and we’re excited to get down there and see people we haven’t seen in 2 years so it’ll be good to get back to normal a little bit,” Bologna said.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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