By David Schultz
For holiday travelers, it's that time of year again, when roads become clogged and airports get frantic.
Susanna Quinn is killing time in a gift shop at Reagan National Airport before her flight departs. She's traveling today, and she'll be traveling again next week with her husband and children. "We have family in Colorado," says Quinn, "And it's nice to get out there and ski before it gets really crowded."
Quinn isn't worried about long lines and delayed flights. Her family is leaving on Monday instead of Thanksgiving Day, which is Thursday. Quinn says it was difficult to get time off from work and school, "but ultimately it's worth it, in terms of having to fight the crowds and definitely paying less airfare."
John Townshend with AAA's mid-Atlantic division says Quinn made a wise choice. "It is going to be crunch city here next week," says Townshend. Townshend predicts a large increase in the number of travelers leaving the D.C. region compared with last year's holiday season, much larger than in the rest of the country. "And I think the reason for that," says Townshend, "is that so many Washingtonians are not really Washingtonians. They're from other parts of the country."
Townshend says Wednesday will be the busiest day for airports, but roads won't get really crowded until late Wednesday or early Thursday.