Some planning and patience; a good combination for holiday travel

Lexy Romano, Reporter

Each holiday season, airlines gear up for the busiest travel time—Christmas and the New Year.

It was predicted that December of 2017 would be the busiest month on record for airlines— but 2018 is holding its own and major airlines have been taking precautions to help make holiday travel smoother for passengers.

Each year the number of Americans traveling home for the holiday increases—by plane, train or automobile.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics from November to December of 2017 scheduled passenger enplanements rose to 72.3 million, reaching an all-time seasonal high.

“Back in other years there would be angry people, because people missed their flights, they were anxious, but now it’s more chill,” said Deena Hernandez, an American Airlines employee.

Due to the increase in demand, many airlines are taking precautions and adding flights and staying open longer to allow passengers more options to get home for the holidays safely and quickly.

“We’ve added more options for them, it used to be less flights, certain days only two flights because of the holiday. But now we are open until 10 o’clock at night to make sure that people make it to their destination,” Hernandez said.

There are also things an individual traveler can do to make the day of more bearable.

A New York Times article recently stated that traveling on the actual day of the holiday, especially Thanksgiving or Christmas day, might be one of the best times to travel.  It’s a more affordable option and is one of the least busy days to fly during the holiday season.

You might even be surprised to find that its quite a pleasant time to fly as well.

“Some people come to the airport in their Santa hats, and things like that on Christmas day,” said Aisha, a Jet Blue employee, “And they’re kinda in the holiday mood.”

However, some people will brave the high prices and long lines in order to get home before the actual day of celebrations.

“I am going home to Philadelphia this year to visit family, and I want to be there at least a few days before Christmas even though its more expensive,” said Eric Green, a California resident.

Knowing there are plenty of travel websites and insider tricks out there for holiday travel it seems that even with the rising number of travelers, with some planning—and patience, travel can be less stressful.