Phoenix Travel Agent Gives Christmas Travel Tips After Busy Week at Airports | Arizona News

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PHOENIX (3TV / CBS 5) – After many travelers took off this Thanksgiving holiday week, a local travel agent said this weekend gave many travelers a good taste of what to expect for Christmas.

“It was packed. The planes were full,” said Penelope Abad.

The busy Thanksgiving weekend trip is drawing to a close.

“We left a bit earlier. The parking lot was full in economy, so we had to do a covered parking lot, which was good, but it was busier,” said Abad.

More than 2.2 million travelers passed through airports yesterday alone and more than 10 million since Friday.

“I was really shocked. It was really normal,” said traveler Jordan Hicks. “We got to the Seattle airport three hours early and it only took 10 minutes so we expected the worst.”

For some it was easier than for others. “I was really shocked. It was really normal,” said traveler Jordan Hicks. “We got to the Seattle airport three hours early and it only took 10 minutes so we expected the worst.”

On Thanksgiving day before Wednesday, more than 2.3 million people traveled by air, making it the busiest travel day since February of last year.

With Christmas less than a month away, people are looking forward to these travel plans.

Phoenix travel consultant Nancy Melton said travelers should expect busy airports this year during Christmas week. “It’s going to be crowded. The planes are going to be full,” Melton said. “The days of less travel are the vacation itself.”

Melton recommends traveling during the holidays if you want to avoid larger crowds. “Typically Christmas Day itself is less crowded than a day or two before or a day or two after,” Melton said.

“Our passenger numbers have been steadily increasing since the start of the pandemic,” said Greg Roybal, Sky Harbor public information officer.

Melton said if you haven’t bought your plane tickets for Christmas yet, you might face some consequences. “At this late rate, a lot of the lower rates will already be gone,” Melton said. “You just have to be prepared not to take the perfect flight time and probably pay more.”

While some travelers feel more comfortable flying this year, Melton said to be patient and plan ahead. “I would do it again in a heartbeat,” said Abad.

“Get there early,” Melton said. “Get there very early, maybe get there an hour and a half earlier than an hour.”

One concern leading up to the holiday weekend was whether or not there would be enough TSA employees working at security checkpoints. Employees were to be vaccinated by Monday or be unemployed. The TSA said no Sky Harbor employee has been fired as a result of the tenure.

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