Millions Head Home After Holiday - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/30/03

Millions Head Home After Holiday

Americans left home by the millions on Wednesday to join friends and family for the four-day Thanksgiving holiday. Now its time to return home, and we caught up with some Coast residents at the Gulfport/Biloxi International airport who helped to make today the busiest travel day of the year at airports throughout the nation.

No matter where you went to spend the holiday, there is no place like home, and Sunday proved to be the day of the "great return."

"I went to Richmond, Virginia and I had a great time. I saw my family," said traveler Katheryn Payne.

"We went to Denver, Colorado to see my sister and then we went to Kansas to see my mother," said traveler Yvonne Cole.

Officials at Gulfport/Biloxi International Airport estimate that by the end of Sunday, nearly 35-hundred passengers will have taken advantage of various flights--six-percent more passengers than this time last year.

According to the AAA travel group, these local travelers help to make up the 36 million people nationwide who traveled from their homes over the weekend, making it the busiest Thanksgiving weekend since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Weekend's been very busy. We have a full parking lot. Holiday travelers coming in and out. Haven't had any real major problems. Security lines have been long and I'm sure security lines are long at any airport. They've been flowing. People are getting through," said operations supervisor Jeremiah Gerald.

National transportation officials say checkpoint wait times were shorter than last year, due to a more knowledgeable public about what to bring and what to leave home, as well as more efficient screeners.

So it is safe to say the travelers themselves helped to make this weekend nothing but smooth sailing.

Operation Supervisor Jeremiah Gerald said Sunday's crowd at the Gulfport/Biloxi International Airport helps managers to perhaps create additional airport expansion options.

By Karla Redditte

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