Travel Rush Underway Ahead of Thanksgiving

CHARLOTTE, NC – The holiday rush is underway. Charlotte roads are already packed and so is the airport. This year is expected to be the busiest for Thanksgiving travel in more than a decade.

Jason Cheek and his family are getting a head start on holiday travel. “We’re tryin’ to skip the big rush,” Cheek says.

Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to be the busiest days this week at Charlotte Douglas Airport.

“Oh yeah, we’ve flown on Wednesdays before and it’s been terrible so it’s like, I won’t do that again,” Cheek says.

If you’re going to the airport, be prepared for changes. The cell phone lot has moved. It’s now next to Long Term Parking Lot 1. Rental Car Road, which was one way to get to the terminal is closed.

“I just try to leave early. I think that’s the best way to do it,” says Gastonia resident Anushka Mistry.

The airport has also added 1700 parking spots in Long Term Lot 2. We saw more people directing traffic as well.

Not everyone is flying. AAA Carolinas says 90 percent of people will drive.

“Driving?!?” asks Ft. Lauderdale, FL resident Debbie Codinach. “I don’t know.. I have ants in my pants. So I can’t stay seated for too long.”

Traffic was already slow Monday night with an accident blocking lanes on I-485.

“I leave earlier and try to stay later wherever I am,” says Southwest Charlotte resident Nikki Davis.

Davis says she just tries to pack some patience.

“Enjoy yourself and don’t worry so much about the traffic. And keep the road rage to a minimum,” she says.

Officers are also stepping up patrols with “Click it or Ticket.”

Last year, 20 people were killed on North Carolina roads over the Thanksgiving holiday period. 10 of those people were not wearing a seatbelt.

“We know that with the seatbelt on, there are definitely, it definitely improves outcomes for trauma patients,” explains Justin Brines, with Cabarrus County EMS.