CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — It's been estimated, by someone who can figure out these things, that 55 million Americans will be traveling during this Thanksgiving week.
Tuesday was supposed to be the busiest travel day of that period with 48,000 flights scheduled according to the FAA. But we still saw a lot of people coming in to Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Wednesday. And many are probably thankful after everything that has happened the past few years just to get here to Western New York to be with family and friends.
We know that folks are en route to Thanksgiving destinations via the highways with gas prices still high but now fortunately lower than earlier this year.
Then there are other folks traveling by bus or train to get home for this holiday.
But the primary concern may have been transiting the skies, which were not so friendly earlier this year with all those delays and cancellations back in the summer. That was in part caused by the airlines cutting staff including pilots as the pandemic pummeled the travel industry.
Passengers coming to Buffalo who we spoke with told us they had a very good experience on their way here on Wednesday. Some say parking was a bit difficult at airports in larger cities, but that was the only issue they really noticed.
NBC and the Associated Press report that airlines decided after the summer travel nightmare to cut back their flight schedules. Then they hired more staff to catch up. Even the FAA got more air traffic controllers back into the system, along with the TSA for all the security screening of passengers.
But there is one thing they cannot control. Our recent winter lake effect blast did raise questions and concerns for some. Austin coming in from Savannah, Georgia told us, "I saw the Bills game being moved and we weren't sure we could get in but here we are."
Austin and others were very happy to see the sunshine and milder temperatures here in Buffalo.