Thousands travel through Sea-Tac airport day before Thanksgiving

SEATTLE -- Transportation Security Administration (TSA) projected about 64,000 passengers would depart from Sea-Tac International Airport on the day before Thanksgiving 2019. From late morning to early afternoon Wednesday, the airport was pretty calm; some people were expecting more traffic. The crowds grew as the evening progressed.

The day before Thanksgiving was notoriously known as one of the busiest days of the year for traveling nationwide. That was at least what Brian Seymour thought when he arrived at SeaTac three hours early before his flight to Las Vegas.

“I would rather get here and relax as oppose to get here and feel stressed and rushed,” said Seymour.

Seymour and many other travelers said they were surprised the airport wasn’t jam-packed like some others across the country during the day. Jeffrey Schamel, on his way to Colorado, said it was an easy travel day for him.

“Getting here today was great, getting here the roads were great, the airport is great, everything was great,” said Schamel.

The traffic came in waves throughout the entire day at the airport. Some flights were delayed because of winter weather in other states. It held up one family after they waited for their son at the airport who was delayed three hours out of Minnesota.

“They got a foot of snow and they got the plane out,” said Greg, the father of the family. “He was supposed to be here before us. So, he was going to be here waiting for us. And it ended up we were here waiting for him.”

Though the airport wasn’t as busy during the day, people still planned for extra time in case something unexpected happened during their travels.

“I think a lot of people are used to traveling nowadays and we’re prepared for that. And it’s just a regular run-of-the-mill kind of thing nowadays to be delayed,” said John Tucker, traveling from Montana.

Airline passengers were encouraged to get to the airport two hours before their flight to get checked in and through security.

TSA said Thanksgiving Day would be the least traveled, with about 40,000 passengers. The traffic was expected to ramp up again on Sunday, making it the second busiest day to travel during the holiday weekend.