The Sunday after Thanksgiving is considered one of the busiest days for travel both on the roads and in the air.
An estimated 49 million people who traveled for the holiday are now making their way back home. AAA was projecting around 98% of pre-pandemic volumes, and it looks like they were close.
The number of people flying has reached close to pre-pandemic levels this year, with nearly 2 million going through TSA checkpoints on the day after Thanksgiving. Compare that to 2019, when there were less than a million.
For anyone flying out Sunday, TSA and the Massachusetts Port Authority say travelers should arrive at their terminals two hours early and expect some long lines.
Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.
Travelers at Boston's Logan Airport on Sunday night, however, said they were surprised to see holiday travel was not nearly as bad as they had expected.
“We had some delays in Tulsa this morning but we made it through Atlanta and it’s been busy but not too bad,” Milton resident Caitlin Phillips said.
“We were planning you know, oh dear, we’re going to be delayed, there was rain in Boston and it was as smooth as can be,” Belmont resident Diane Chait said.
Still, looking at the numbers, air travel this Thanksgiving week took off -- up nearly 8% since last year, with about 4.5 million Americans flying for Thanksgiving.
“It was busy but I have to confess I separated from my wife because I can go through fast track faster than she can,” Richard Chait said.
It's not just the airlines that saw crowds. Locally, AAA Northeast projected 1.3 million people across the Commonwealth to fly or drive. The roads were also feeling the traffic.
“The traffic here is not that great but otherwise I love Boston,” said Shehla Kamal, who was traveling from Boston.
Nationwide, close to 50 million people who made the road trip for Thanksgiving are now heading home.
Most travelers drove to their destinations and while Thanksgiving road trips have risen slightly – up 0.4% from 2021 – car travel remains 2.5% short of 2019 levels. As for the roads, AAA says the best time to avoid traffic Sunday is before 11 a.m. and after 8 p.m. And the worst time to travel is expected to be between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Locals in the Boston area who were picking loved ones up at the airport were feeling that pain.
“Lot of traffic, it was slow going because of the rain everyone slows down. But, I left plenty of time so it’s all good,” Brian Walsh said.
More than 2,500 flights into or out of U.S. airports were delayed as of late Sunday morning during the post-Thanksgiving travel rush as severe weather, including rain, heavy winds and snow, swept through major cities.
As far as delays and cancelations in Boston, Logan Airport has not been too bad. According to FlightAware, there have only been 2 cancelations and 242 delays going in and out of the airport Sunday.