AAA predicts ‘worst’ travel day on the road and in the air

Posted at 6:40 PM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-26 20:40:49-05

DENVER— AAA coined the day after Christmas the “worst” travel holiday day both on the road and the air.

AAA predicts 2.9 million people will fly across the nation and more than 2.5 million travelers are expected to travel through the Denver International Airport between Dec. 20 through Jan. 2. That’s a 4 percent increase from 2018 during the same time frame.

One passenger at DIA, Libby Seamans, a Coloradan, said she was headed to California for a vacation with her family of 10.

The self-described expert traveler said she signed up for CLEAR Security to skip the holiday rush. She shared some key pointers to help people get through the travel headache.

“Give yourself plenty of time and count the airport experience as part of the adventure," she said. "There will certainly be memories made in the process."

Other travelers point to small mental checklists to speed lines up, like getting your ID and boarding pass ready and emptying water bottles and pockets.

“As you are approaching, you have a lot of time to stand in line and wait," said passenger Michael Velasco. "You should sort of be thinking about getting your things together."

Denver7 tracked the Seamans family as they entered the CLEAR Security line at the South Security checkpoint. It took 19 minutes for all three family members to get through security, including a secondary bag check. The general line, at the same location, had a 16-minute wait time, according to the DIA webpage.

The family said they are familiar with the drill — it’s why they plan early on.

While some may dread the travel rush, Seamans and her family are focused on the adventure ahead.

“We made it through security and are just headed to our gate,” she said.

DIA is expecting more than 200,000 travelers on Sunday.