Busy holiday air travel season kicks off at San Diego airport

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – It’s the start of the busy travel season all around the country due to the holidays, and people are hitting the road and the air, going to and from San Diego.

More than 9 million Southern California residents are planning end-of-year getaways, the largest travel volume on record for the Christmas-New Year holiday period, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

More than 88 percent of local and statewide travelers are expected to drive to their destinations, while 8.5 percent will fly and 3 percent will go by other means, such as train, bus or cruise.

Because of the extended holiday period and end-of-year business and school closures, traffic congestion is not expected to be as big a factor for holiday travelers as it is for Thanksgiving and three-day-weekend holidays. Based on historical and recent travel trends, the Auto Club expects drivers to experience the greatest congestion in the afternoon and evening of Thursday, Dec. 26 and Friday, Dec. 27.

Airport officials said the real travel crunch will begin Thursday, when more than 247,000 people are expected to descend on the airport. As usual, authorities urged travelers to bring plenty of patience, and to arrive early.

Transportation Security Administration officials also advised passengers to be patient, and to adhere to requirements for carry-on items to keep screening lines moving. Most notably, TSA officials said people traveling with Christmas presents should leave them unwrapped because such packages are subject to search.

Categories: California News, Local San Diego News