Holiday Travel Begins at CHO With Mixed Reviews

By: Matt Holmes Email
By: Matt Holmes Email

Saturday November 17, 2007

Coleman Savage is just a kid. But like many travellers during this Thanksgiving week, he's learning some important lessons on the dangers of traveling during a high-volume time.

"We went on three different planes and one of the planes got delayed so we had to wait about three hours," recounts Coleman.

And of the many passengers we spoke with at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, Coleman's was a common story.

We're early in the travel week, Wednesday and next Sunday are typically the busiest days of the year at American airports, and getting a jump on the holiday travel actually worked out well for some.

"[I] came through Charlotte, everything was perfect," says holiday traveller Anna Teran. "Flights were on time, no problems."

But for others, it was nightmarish.

"I had a flight out of Orlando this morning and it was delayed," says Amy Butcher, who was travelling on business. "I was actually supposed to fly into Lynchburg, that's where we live, and last flight...missed it. So I had to fly into Charlottesville and have the family come pick me up and then drive home tonight."

And it'll only get worse for travellers. A TSA official told us Saturday's air traffic through CHO was nothing compared to what passengers will see Sunday, with flights absolutely booked solid.

And of course it will get busier and busier as the week wears on.

AAA estimates four percent more people will fly this Thanksgiving than last; meaning about 4.6 million Americans will take to the sky this week. That makes it the biggest travel holiday since before the 9/11 terror attacks.

But for now, how would travellers grade their experience?

"Maybe a 'C'," Coleman says.

That may be a generous mark, considering Coleman's mom was busy looking for the family's missing luggage.

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