CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Some flyers at West Virginia International Yeager Airport in Charleston were already experiencing headaches Tuesday as the busy travel period got underway for Thanksgiving.
Rick Anderson, of Lewisburg, made the drive to Charleston to fly out of Yeager early Tuesday morning, but instead his flight to Boston was delayed for hours.
“I was supposed to leave at 7 a.m. this morning, but because of a serious difficulty on the plane, it won’t be until 1 p.m., so at 1 p.m. I’ll take off for Chicago,” he told MetroNews.
Anderson was supposed to have a number of connecting flights on his journey to Boston to celebrate his birthday and spend Thanksgiving with his family, but he said the delay was a blessing in disguise.
“The nice thing about it is instead of Charleston-Chicago-Newark-Boston, it’s now going to be Charleston-Chicago-Boston, which is far better. I’m sure I would’ve got stuck in New Jersey,” he said.
Niecy Marshall had some flight issues with getting to Charleston, South Carolina from New York Monday evening. She ended up spending the night at Yeager on the phone with the airlines.
“I didn’t even sleep. I’m tired and I’ve been crying all night,” she told MetroNews.
Trying to find an affordable flight has been half the battle, Marshall said.
“I would love to be there already, but not for $700,” she said.
The FAA said more than 49,000 planes will be in the air on Wednesday alone. There’s also a string of severe weather in West Virginia and along the East Coast that could snarl even more flight schedules.
The roads could be more crowded as well. More than 49 million people are projected to drive over the next five days. AAA said that more people are traveling longer distances this year, about 50 miles or more. The best times to leave would be early in the morning, or after 6 p.m., to avoid the most traffic.