Flights packed as holiday travelers rush homePosted: Updated:
It's the cap to the busiest travel weekend of the year. Travel experts say the Sunday after Thanksgiving rivals Black Wednesday for the amount of travelers in airports like Phoenix Sky Harbor, which saw around 150,000 arriving passengers.
Sky Harbor's Deputy Aviation Director Deborah Ostreicher says Sunday gets crowded both inside and outside the terminals.
"On an average day, we have 80,000 to 100,000 passengers coming in," Ostreicher said. "If you're picking somebody up who's coming home or dropping someone off this evening, use the 44th Street Sky Train station."
Sky Train faced its biggest test since it was opened in April. Thanksgiving weekend saw hundreds of thousands of travelers each day.
"It was definitely busier than usual, for sure," Neo Mayora said of the holiday weekend.
Travelers say every flight was packed, and many were forced to catch late-night arrivals because most other flights were already booked.
Northern Arizona University student Lauren Stebbins was flying back to Phoenix from her hometown in Orange County, CA.
"I would definitely say fly back on Saturday because Sunday is a little busier," Stebbins said. "All your plans get delayed, and it's harder to get back into your routine."
Earlier in the week, a major Midwest storm shut down Dallas-Fort Worth International, causing a ripple effect of flight delays, but the return flights over the weekend had some help from mother nature.
Clear weather across the nation caused only a few delays, and for the most part, travelers say the flight home was crowded but smooth.
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