Americans ready to take to the skies for Thanksgiving, travel alert issued

Homeland Security inside Bradley Airport (Courtesy: George Roelofsen)

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — The day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year for the airlines as millions of Americans take flight.

“I’m leaving today to avoid tomorrow,” said Joyce Lagnese of Avon. She was one of many people who flew out a day ahead of the travel rush to avoid the large crowds.

If you’re flying out Wednesday or through the weekend it’s recommended you get to the airport at least two hours in advance. Even longer for international flights. Security is going to be very tight, and very busy.

“Just by the volume of people you should give yourself more time,” said Tim Larson with the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority. “Especially around the holidays if people are traveling with pets or children you need to make accommodations for those and be patient.”

Related Content: US issues travel warning following terror attacks

On Monday the government issued a travel alert for U.S. citizens worldwide. People are asked to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings when traveling or gathering in public places. This all comes in the wake of several terror attacks overseas in recent weeks, most notably in Paris.

“I do think about it and it bothers me that we live in a world that we have to worry about those things, said Lagnese.

Other passengers weren’t overly concerned with the travel alert. “I’m not worried. I’ve traveled for years, said Tobias Baskin, who was traveling to Tokyo. “I think people are blowing this out of proportion.”

Amtrak and Metro-North are also stepping up security. Both organizations have their own police force with bomb-sniffing dogs. Amtrak is adding extra trains to deal with the expected large amounts of travelers. Amtrak spokesman Craig Schulz says Wednesday is usually the busiest travel day of the year. “So last year was a record for us, it was the busiest Thanksgiving holiday in Amtrak history. We moved about 772,000 across the country over the course of the week. This year we have every reason to believe we’ll come pretty close to, if not exceed, that number, so yeah, definitely our busiest time of the year.”

Metro-North is also planning ahead for the up-tick in passengers. There will be 10 extra trains on the New Haven line starting Wednesday afternoon.

The worldwide travel alert will remain in effect until February 24th, 2016.

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