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Air Travel Normal as Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend Winds Down

planeMillions of Americans made their way back home Sunday after a long Thanksgiving weekend, facing minimal stress and strain as they traveled by air, rail or road.

Federal Aviation Administration data showed most U.S. airports with delays of 15 minutes or less Sunday afternoon.

Lines at airline check-in counters and security checkpoints were short and flowing quickly at New York’s Kennedy Airport. Passenger Susan Merced said she overestimated her travel time by budgeting more than two hours to pass through security before her flight to New Orleans.

Amtrak in New York City was running normally, and no major traffic problems were reported on New Jersey’s heavily traveled roadways, although officials warned that volume would likely increase as the day progressed.

In New Hampshire, Gerry Mandelbaum, owner of Amoskeag Black Car company in Manchester, said travelers seemed in good spirits as his drivers shuffled them to and from the airport.

“So far, everyone I’ve talked to sounds pretty good, and I would have a good sense of that because I do have a lot of stressed customers,” Mandelbaum said.

The bulk of his business goes to corporate travelers, and many of them were getting back to work.

“Today’s been an especially busy Sunday,” he said. “I’d say we’re 20 to 30 percent over normal today.”

Traffic was moving smoothly Sunday morning on the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway and the state’s other major highways. And no delays were being reported at the region’s bridges or tunnels.

But it wasn’t smooth going everywhere.

Storms in Washington state dropped more than 2 feet of snow in 24 hours. Besides driving problems, officials said there could be an increased risk of landslides.

State police in Connecticut said 51 people were arrested on driving-under-the-influence charges and troopers issued nearly 900 speeding tickets during a five-day increased enforcement effort around the Thanksgiving holiday. One person was killed and 42 others were injured in nearly 400 crashes in the five-day period, they said.

AAA had estimated 48.7 million Americans would travel this Thanksgiving week.


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