UPDATED 12/23/10 9:34 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – If you’re flying out of town today, don’t be expecting a quiet terminal with a few sleepy customers at O’Hare or Midway international airports.
Thursday is one of the busiest travel days of the year, and crowds in the hundreds of thousands will be coming through Chicago.
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Nearly 190,000 people are expected to pass through O’Hare on Thursday, and nearly 63,000 are expected to come through Midway.
WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports at O’Hare early Thursday, departure boards showed most flights were on time.
Many people are headed to warmer climes, and are glad to be getting a break from Chicago’s winter weather.
Travelers are reminded not to board planes with wrapped Christmas gifts, because at security checkpoints, officers will only undo the wrapping.
But from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at Midway, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at O’Hare, free gift-wrapping is available.
“We’ve got tables set up. We’ve got several types of wrapping paper and ribbon. The staff of volunteers will be happy to accommodate you once you’ve passed security,” Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride said Wednesday.
The city says between this past Tuesday and Tuesday of next week, nearly 2 million people will travel through O’Hare and Midway. Thursday is expected to be the busiest day in that period at both airports.