AAA said try to avoid the roads if you can because more than 90% of travelers are predicted to be drivers.By Bryant Reed

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – More than 53 million people are expected to take to the roads and skies this Thanksgiving, AAA said.

With that in mind, it’s recommended to arrive at the airport about three hours before your flight, so if the lines are long, you can still make it to the gates in time.

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Of course, airports are not without their struggles.

With TSA now mandating the COVID-19 vaccination, there is concern about possible staffing shortages. However, locally, Pittsburgh International Airport says that hasn’t affected them.

Don’t be surprised though if there are flight cancellations or delays as travel is beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels.

“[It’s] on par with around pre-pandemic travel for us,” said Bob Kerlik, a spokesperson with the Pittsburgh International Airport. “There’s a lot of pent-up demand, particularly leisure travelers.”

He said they have seen demand for flight travel increase greatly with the holiday season upon us.

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“Last year we stayed in, but yeah, even just taking the shuttle over here, there’s a lot of people on there,” said Natalie McCargo of Beaver Falls.

Travel numbers are usually high around the holidays but the busiest travel day, TSA said, is the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Usual delays and long lines are typically what people experience, but this year, there has been a new reason. Despite reduced travel throughout the year, TSA says they’re on pace to seize more guns than ever.

They recently sent out a warning saying to those who may bring a gun to the airport to make sure it’s properly packaged so it won’t hold up lines when the police arrive and won’t end with a hefty fine.

Jim Garrity, with AAA, says the busiest travel days on the roads vary depending on how you want to get from point A to point B.

“Certainly, one of the busiest days you’re going to see on the road is today. The day before Thanksgiving is always heavily traveled, particularly between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. The other day we’re expecting to see a lot of people travel back is Sunday. That’s going to be another busy day. With about 13% more people traveling, you should plan as though no matter when you leave, you’re going to have traffic of some kind.”

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Try to avoid the roads if you can because more than 90% of travelers are predicted to be drivers, Garrity said.