CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is getting ready for one of the busiest times of the year, with tens of thousands of people flying and landing connected to Thanksgiving travel.

While the more frantic travel days are ahead, plenty of flyers chose to get a head start Monday and avoid the commotion.

“I’m a college student so I wanted to get home as quick as possible and traveling the day before Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving is just way too hectic so I wanted to have a nice easy breezy flight home,” Tatiana Kingston, who’s traveling to New York City for Thanksgiving, said. “I have traveled the day before Thanksgiving and it was an absolute nightmare and I was like, ‘I’m not doing that again.’”

A couple flying back home to Texas said they were in town for the Bills game and wanted to leave as soon as they could to avoid the rush. 

“We’re excited to be getting out before all of the Thanksgiving traffic comes through and that’s the reason we chose to fly out today on Monday versus later in the week,” Emily Karl said.

AAA expects more than 49 million people will be hitting the roads and traveling 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving week, and around 5 million will be flying. 

In terms of tips, AAA suggests arriving to the airport a few hours before your flight, having all your boarding info ready, and keeping an eye on any possible delays or cancellations. 

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Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.