Cleveland Hopkins International Airport expects Thanksgiving travel to reach pre-pandemic levels

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 11:52 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Thanksgiving travel is approaching pre-pandemic levels this year, with nearly 55 million people on the move this week alone.

“It’s gonna look a lot more like 2019 than 2020 or 2021 on the roads and at the airports,” said Jim Garrity the director of public affairs for AAA East Central.

At a news conference held Tuesday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, officials said roughly 260,000 people were expected at the airport over a ten-day stretch before and after Thanksgiving.

Travelers waiting in the security lines didn’t seem to mind waiting with everyone else.

“It’s been pretty good so far,” one woman told 19 News. “I don’t know if we left early but we got our parking spot and the line isn’t too bad.”

Another woman, on her way to see her daughter in Las Vegas, said she’s been flying a lot recently and has noticed a positive change compared to the travel experience during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of people feel better. They’re more friendly, so I’m enjoying my trips,” she said. “The experience is much better.”

The highways are expected to be full this week and into the week as well.

Spokesperson Amanda McFarland said many construction projects that would typically slow traffic down are wrapping up, with the exception of a few.

“We’re going to be opening up as many lanes as possible but we always advise motorists to know before you go,” McFarland said.

Motorists can stay up to date with ongoing projects at