ARLINGTON, Va. – AAA predicts this could be the busiest Christmas holiday travel season in six years, but it was pretty quiet Sunday morning at Reagan National Airport.
By now, most people have already packed their bags and left the D.C. area But some stragglers that were just starting their journey found short security lines and empty seats.
“We got here very early because we thought traffic would be bad but we breezed right through,” says Arthur Wittich who is flying to Bozeman, Montana with his wife to see their son, his wife, and two granddaughters.
He didn’t plan on leaving just two days before Christmas, “but by the time we started to make reservations, the days were booked up. We’re arriving later so we will come back later.”
Wittich, a military physician, says he has limited time off during the holidays, “So I might even have to take more days off.”
Before boarding their flight, they each found something to pass the time.
“My wife likes looking at the junk shops and I brought some reading material,” he says. “I’m going to sit and read and get educated.”
The Kunstman family from Rockville arrived at the airport five hours early to be safe, but they are more concerned about their flight being delayed on the trip back.
“We’re taking the Metro back home from here. So that’s going to be insane too,” Madison says.
Val Sevastita and her husband went through a hellish ordeal to get to Wisconsin for the holidays. They waited all morning to board their flight after being bumped from a plane on Friday.
“I have lost the will to fly, basically. It’s been a nightmare,” Sevastita says. Now two days later, she says her holiday is ruined, but they hope to salvage the vacation.
Toni Redfern works for the airline industry, so she knows from experience that this weekend can be stressful for fliers.
“The 21st and 22nd are the busiest travel days of the year. Usually by the 23rd or 24th it’s not so crowded. Flights are way open today,” says Redfern, who’s traveling to New York City with her two twin grandsons, “They traveled cross- country a few days ago but they’re pretty good travelers for 1-year-olds!”
Matthew Lewis and his son Dylan came to the airport just to see the planes take off.
“We’re here while mom is at home communing with Mrs. Claus to make sure packages are properly wrapped,” Lewis says.