Post Holiday Travel Forecast For The Carolinas

CHARLOTTE, NC — Wednesday, expect traffic congestion and a packed airport in Charlotte. It’s the busiest travel day this week as people head home from the holidays, according to airport officials.

Charlotte-Douglas Airport’s crowd will grow to an estimated 128,400 people Wednesday. That’s 28,400 more than a regular day, according to the airport.

Dana Lamb had to get his wife, twins and a lot of bags through as he traveled home to Lake Norman.

“Get there early because you can never predict the traffic coming in and out of the airport,” said Lamb.

TSA added more security lines.

Workers say the one thing slowing it down is people who do not take liquids and food out of their carry-on luggage. Now this season, if you don’t know if an item will make it past the checkpoint, you can take a picture of it and tweet it to @asktsa, and a worker will tell you. That can help speed you up if you’re flying out.

If you’re flying in, expect traffic outside to be slow. CMPD says it added more officers to organize traffic, but it might be faster if your ride parks in the hourly lot and you walk to them. The first hour is free.

“Just be patient,” said Marilyn Frade. Frade’s family is going from one crowd to the next. They’re going from the airport, to the mountains.

AAA expects Wednesday and Thursday to be the worst days for that.

“Be nice, you know?” said Frade. “Everybody is trying to get somewhere. I think a little kindness goes a long way.”

2.8 million people in North Carolina drove this holiday. 1.3 million drove for the holidays in South Carolina, according to AAA.