GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Between this week and next, 45.2 million passengers are expected to travel by plane. That's according to the trade group Airlines for America. If that prediction comes true, 2016 will be the busiest year ever for air travel in the United States.
Here on the coast, Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport was mostly empty on Christmas Eve, except for a few afternoon arrivals.
"Made it right through check-in and security. There was hardly any lines, so it was great," said Erin Allen, who traveled from Washington D.C.
Those coming from bigger airports said that even they were mostly empty.
"They guy there at security said it had been really bad yesterday and Wednesday, so we're really glad we chose today."
The busiest day for travel was December 23rd, which usually means Christmas Eve is pain-free, but there are always hiccups.
"I had like 10 minutes to make my flight to here, so you know, running through the airport with a dog was a little bit of trying spirits, but I made it," said Allen.
Chloe Carbrera is on her way home for the first time since completing basic training at Keesler.
"It's actually delayed for four hours, so we were supposed to arrive there at 6pm and now we're arriving there at almost 10pm," she said. "It feels horrible because I don't think I'm going to make it to our Christmas Eve. But it's okay because it's probably worth it seeing my family."
Besides of the thinner lines, most last minute travelers say it's easier on their wallets.
"We waited 'til two weeks before and tried for Christmas Eve and we got a great price," said the Madison family, who traveled from Charlotte, NC.
Cabrera agrees, but isn't sure she'll do it again.
"It's cheaper to leave on Christmas Eve, but turns out it's not a good idea."