CHICAGO (CBS) — If you’re flying on Friday, leave yourself plenty of time, as both airports in Chicago are bracing for a record number of travelers.
Friday is expected to be the busiest travel day of the three-week holiday stretch at O’Hare and Midway airports.
Approximately 5.2 million passengers combined will fly through the city’s two airports for Christmas and New Year’s this year, the highest on record.
At O’Hare, travel is expected to be up 3.5 percent compared to last year. Midway will see an increase of about 2 percent.
TSA screeners will enforce strict security measures, so officials advised travelers to arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare; two hours ahead of domestic flights, and three hours ahead of international flights.
Glenn and Kye Gilliam were headed to New York to see their family for the holidays.
“Better to be here earlier than later,” Glenn said. “It’s always good to travel when you have time off, especially during the holidays, to go see loved ones.”
“Traveling’s wonderful, and the airport early in the morning is the best time to come. It’s the quietest, and you get to see the little faces running around, excited about traveling. So it’s fun,” Kye said.
As always, the airports are providing holiday activities. O’Hare will have live music and pop-up stores for last-minute shopping. Midway will offer free hot cocoa and complimentary gift wrapping.
As a reminder, if you’re traveling with gifts, you probably shouldn’t wrap them before your flight. Security screeners might need to unwrap them if there is something inside that requires inspection.