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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh International Airport is a portal to family and friends for the holiday. Chicago, Raleigh, San Diego, Myrtle Beach, just some of the destinations travelers shared on Tuesday as they waited to go through TSA screening.

Julie Martin, from Bethel Park, said the key to a pleasant trip is, “We gave ourselves plenty of time.”

pittsburgh international airport thanksgiving Over The River, And Through The Woods: Thousands Of Pittsburghers Descend On Airport, Highways As Thanksgiving Travel Kicks Into High Gear

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

In fact, airport spokesman Bob Kerlik says, “If you have morning flights please, please arrive early.”

This morning, the airport was packed during the morning peak time from 5 to 7 a.m., and Kerlik adds that after a midday lull, “We’ll start to see it pick back up again around 3 to 5 when people start to fly out with those evening flights.”

The hours after folks get off work on Wednesday will also be the heaviest.

KDKA’s John Shumway Reports:


 

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The Pennsylvania Turnpike estimates 750,000 drivers will be on the turnpike Wednesday, 3.7 million during the holiday period.

If you are planning to travel on Wednesday to the east, leaving early is not only a good idea from a traffic standpoint, it’s also advised because of the weather.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Matthew Kramar says, “We’re going to start seeing some snow showers develop in the mountains as you try to go east of Donegal. Going through the mountains, you might see some on-and-off snow showers as you go east, until you get to the Carlisle area. You should be east of the mountains by then, and things should be good.”

cars highway traffic Over The River, And Through The Woods: Thousands Of Pittsburghers Descend On Airport, Highways As Thanksgiving Travel Kicks Into High Gear

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

And opting for I-80 will only get you closer to lake-effect snow.

“Pretty widespread snow showers up along I-80 on and off. Again, I wouldn’t expect it to be snowing every minute of the day [Wednesday]. It could be an inch or two up there, and we could see rapid loss of visibility, which tends to be the most hazardous type of situation on I-80.”

In both cases Kramar says the morning would be the better time to travel.

As for coming home, a storm system Friday night into Saturday morning will make returning late Saturday or anytime Sunday optimal.