HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Thursday, Dec. 22, marks one of the busiest air-travel days of the year. This year, hectic airport conditions were exacerbated slightly in Central Virginia by midwestern winter storms.
As of early Thursday afternoon, seven out of 134 Richmond International Airport flights were canceled. Of those seven canceled flights, six were scheduled to fly to or from Chicago. Airport officials told 8News that considering the time of year, these numbers aren’t bad.
Krystian Bates experienced slight delays on his flight home for the holidays.
“About 15 minutes,” Bates said about the delay. “But it wasn’t too bad.”
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said this holiday season the country can expect to see the highest volumes of traffic in years, adding that traffic could even reach pre-pandemic levels.
“The flight was a little more crowded than I’m used to,” Bates said about his trip.
Timothy Richburg’s flight headed to New Orleans today. He’s relieved the weather didn’t cause him any trouble.
“Super, super relieved,” Richburg told 8News. “There was one time where I was coming into Chicago, looked out the window, couldn’t see anything but white.”
From planes to trains, Central Virginians rely on different types of transportation to get to their destinations for the holiday.
Nancy Childs from Newport News shared her favorite travel method — she prefers Amtrak.
“I’ve been doing it for years,” Childs said.
The trains have remained fairly on-schedule throughout the day on Thursday.
Meanwhile, AAA warned of heavy highway traffic this year. Nearly 113 million travelers are estimated to be out on the roads this holiday season, according to AAA. The weather is not only making driving conditions more dangerous, it is complicating travel on the water as well — two ferry boats that service Eastern Virginia were forced to temporarily suspend their schedules.
Collectively, though, many individuals who spoke with 8News about the hectic travel day agreed on one thing: “I’m just glad it didn’t snow,” Childs said with a laugh.