Written by Randol White
LOS ANGELES (EDE) — The nation’s largest airports are reporting that today and tomorrow, December 22 and 23, is expected to be the busiest travel day of the 2011 holiday season.
The Chicago Department of Aviation anticipates an estimated 2.7 million passengers will travel through the city’s airports during this holiday period, with an estimated 202,600 passengers at O’hare today. Midway’s busiest day is expected tomorrow. Snow showers are expected this evening with sunshine and 36 degrees for the high tomorrow in Chicago.
Passenger volume at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will likely remain unchanged this holiday travel period with 2.9 million passengers, the same volume reported in 2010. Again, today is predicted to be one of the busiest days, also tomorrow and next Thursday and Friday, according to airport officials. Weather is not expected to be a problem this weekend.
Anaheim, home to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, is the second most popular travel destination this year, according to AAA.
Today and tomorrow are expected to be the busiest travels days at Denver International Airport, where a major winter storm just dumped up to 10 inches of snow overnight. Some areas west of Denver in the foothills saw 2 feet of new snow.
“Last year we experienced the busiest December holiday week in the airport’s history with more than 1.1 million passengers traveling through DIA,” said Dan Melfi, DIA holiday spokesperson. “We were fortunate to have favorable weather conditions last year and this past Thanksgiving, which made for smooth traveling.
Because of the recent snow storm, Melfi said the airport’s staff , “cannot overemphasize the importance of planning ahead and allowing extra travel time to navigate the airport at this time of year.”
Weather in the Southeast could hamper flights as severe thunderstorms are forecast today. Tomorrow is predicted to be the busiest day at Orlando International Airport in Florida, the top travel destination this season according to AAA.
Rain and snow are forecast for portions of the Northeast, with rain tonight and tomorrow in Boston. Logan International Airport was not experiencing any flight delays at press time, but Newark was showing flights delayed up to 30 minutes due to heavy volume.
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