Travelers navigate busy roads, airports on one of the busiest travel days

SEATAC, Wash. -- Travel experts say Dec. 26 is one of the worst days for traffic on the roads and in the sky.

Officials said Thursday they expect about 152,500 passengers to travel through Sea-Tac Airport.

Airport officials said the two peak travel periods were from 6-8 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. There were more than 5,100 passengers going through security during the 6 a.m. hour alone.

“It was very packed, very busy. But for the most part very smooth,” said Julie Ndekere, traveling from North Carolina.

AAA reports that Dec. 26 has the highest airline ticket prices, averaging at $692. The travel agency also said airline holiday travel was up nearly five percent over last year. AAA said 6.9  million Americans were expected to fly in the 2019 holiday season.

Cheno Ryska, from Alaska, said he noticed the uptick in travelers. He was at the airport waiting to check in for a flight to Canada continuing his travels for a hockey tournament.

“I actually went from Alaska, to Vegas for three days, Vegas to Kansas for another three days. Now I just came from Kansas all the way up to here. So, it’s been kind of rough,” said Ryska.

Kristina Fikes from Texas said she arrived in Seattle with no problems her whole trip.

“It was crowded but it wasn’t overwhelming. I prepared myself for the worst and hoped for the best. And so, it went really smoothly, to be honest,” said Fikes.

Fikes said she was emotional when she lost her phone on a plane, but airline staff helped her find it. She encouraged other passengers to always plan for extra travel time for unexpected situations.

“At least give yourself three hours instead of two. Just pack your patience and be kind,” she said. “That’s the reason for the season, truly. And I got a Christmas miracle!”

Sea-Tac officials said they are expecting the airport to be busy through New Year’s Day.