Whether by air or roads, travel this Thanksgiving will be busy

Nov 21, 2023, 7:11 PM | Updated: Nov 22, 2023, 7:07 am

SALT LAKE CITY — If you’re traveling this Thanksgiving holiday, you’re not alone. AAA projects 55 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles to see friends and family.

At Salt Lake City International Airport, holiday travel is in full swing, with peak holiday travel expected at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. After Thanksgiving, the peak travel day at the airport is predicted to be Friday.

“Today and tomorrow we’re expecting 30,000 people each day to come through the front door and were expecting as many people to arrive on those days as well,” said Nancy Volmer, spokesperson for Salt Lake City International Airport.

Thanksgiving travel off to a smooth start

On Tuesday, travelers found a smooth journey through the airport. What little build-up happened at security during the peak hours dissipated quickly.

“Everyone here at the airport has prepared for today and tomorrow, and so we’re staffed up whether it’s at the TSA checkpoint, if it’s our land side team helping with the parking or even if it’s in the concessions, so we feel very prepared for this weekend travel,” said Volmer.

“Everything been great so far,” said Creed Mangrum, of Sandy.

Mangrum and his family arrived at the airport ready for a busy travel day, his boys were excited to spend Thanksgiving with extended family.

“We’re going to Washington where Grandma lives,” said his son, Steele.

At Salt Lake City International Airport, holiday travel is in full swing, with peak travel on Tuesday and Wednesday. (KSL TV)

Brandi Connolly, of Park City, and her girls are headed to Alameda, California, to visit cousins.

“It’s a great holiday for us, it’s the most important because it’s about family and friends and being with the people you love without any gifts or anything else,“ she said.

Busiest travel time

TSA is predicting that the 12-day travel period surrounding Thanksgiving will be the busiest on record, with 30 million passengers taking to the skies.

The busy travel forecast also extends to the roads this year, AAA projects 49.1 million people will get behind the wheel this Thanksgiving, which is a 1.7% increase compared to last year.

“We are traveling home to have Thanksgiving back at our house,” said Joni Borg while filling up her vehicle at a Maverik in Salt Lake City.

For Borg, a dip in gas prices is making the trip to Idaho easier on her wallet this Thanksgiving, something she says she’s grateful for.

“I selected the medium grade today because I was feeling pretty good about the gas prices,” said Borg.


Whether it’s on the road or in the skies, one thing is for sure, the next few days will be busy. For those picking up friends or family at the airport, officials recommend utilizing the park-and-wait lot.

“If you’re coming to pick up a passenger please wait in the park-and-wait lot until your passenger has their luggage and is curbside, the curb can get very congested and so we really like to wait until people are at their curb with their bags before their parties come and pick them up,” said Volmer.

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Whether by air or roads, travel this Thanksgiving will be busy