Thousands of travelers flood Phoenix roads, Sky Harbor

Planes, trains and automobiles are taking people to loved ones across the country.

PHOENIX, Ariz. - According to AAA, air travel in Phoenix is up more than four percent this holiday season. As for the roads, more than 844,000 people are planning a road trip.

Those numbers proved true at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Wednesday.

Jim and Sue Fridenmaker said getting from Cave Creek to Phoenix to pick up their daughter only took them about 35 minutes.

"Traffic was light," Jim Fridenmaker said.

But once they hit Sky Harbor, it was a different story. 

"It took us the same amount of time to get from the cell phone lot to here! That was the busy part," said Sue Fridenmaker.

Traffic to pick up from Terminal 4 was backed up as far as the eye could see as travelers patiently waited on the curb.

"He said hopefully 10 maybe 15 minutes but this is the first time we've been here and this is backed up pretty far!" said Marcus Castillo who flew in from Reno.

There were similar slow-downs inside the airport. Visitors created bottlenecks at baggage claim but were all excited to soak up the Arizona sun.

"When we left Seattle it was 86 and sunny... just kidding that's the weather here!" said Clarita Bhat.

For those hitting the road, Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Col. Frank Milstead shared advice with 12 News.

"If you are traveling, don't camp in the left lane. That is one of the things that makes people incredibly frustrated," Milstead said.

Despite the madness on one of the busiest travel days of the year, travelers say it's all worth it.

"At the end of the travel, hugs!" Bhat said.

Airport officials expect Sunday to be just as busy of a travel day, if not busier, than the day before Thanksgiving.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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