Holiday Travel Season Heats Up

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner
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December 22, 2005

As the holiday season nears, people are getting out of town to visit family and friends.

With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, the Holiday travel season is a little different than in years past. Even with a more spread out travel time, airport officials say they still expect an increase in volume.

This log jam of travelers often times make for a traveling nightmare.

"I am on my way up to Connecticut, Massachusetts and then Vermont," said Marsha Gartland.

Gartland is one of thousands of travelers expected to take to the air from Charlottesville Albemarle Airport this holiday weekend. Being a regular business traveler, the ease of CHO makes the airport her first choice.

"I leave my house an hour before flight time. I give myself 15 minutes to get here. I know that I can get through security within five minutes," she said.

Airport officials say the Christmas holiday is one of the busiest times of year, falling only short of Thanksgiving and the month of October. With thousands of travelers expected to fly this long weekend, the airport is gearing up for a rush.

"Monday is scheduled to be very heavy in terms of passengers as well as a little bit Saturday morning as well," said Airport Director Bryan Elliott.

Just a few weeks ago, CHO had to ground several flights because of malfunctioning equipment. According to Elliott, those problems are in the past.

"That system has essentially been rebuilt from the ground up and is functioning the way that it is supposed to and we don't anticipate any problems," he said.

This is also the first big travel period since the TSA relaxed regulations on what you can carry on planes, like scissors. Elliot said he has not seen this change make any differences to the time it takes to get through security. Just to be safe, however, you should check in with your airlines about any possible delays.

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