Day before Thanksgiving air travelers balance timing, weather risk

Dulles thanksgiving passenger
Passengers at Dulles International Airport are hoping weather will enable them to get to Thanksgiving destinations. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Predictably busy ticket counters at Dulles Airport, on the morning before Thanksgiving. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
There are a lot of on time departures at Dulles Airport, but it’s early in the morning, the day before Thanksgiving. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
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Dulles thanksgiving passenger

Airline passengers at Dulles International Airport on the morning before Thanksgiving are keeping one eye on their anticipated festive gathering, and one eye on the weather.

Snow, rain and strong winds will complicate travel in parts of the West, for travelers hoping to arrive to their destinations on Wednesday.

A couple departing from Dulles is hoping to be in Oregon, to meet their new grandson.

”They’re getting some snow, so we’ll have to see,” he said.

“We’ve been watching the weather,” his wife added. “I think we’re good, because I think we’re going to get in after they’ve had their snow and before they get their wind.”

The Upper Midwest and interior New England could see some snow. In the D.C. area, a series of powerful storms is expected to move in on the busiest travel days of the holiday weekend, bringing rain and wind gusts of up to 40 mph.


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Another family making its way through Dulles didn’t seem to be concerned about snow — they were dressed in shorts.

Each year, the family celebrates Thanksgiving on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten.

”It’s a tradition I started with my mom, a long time ago,” she said, doing the math in her head. “Gosh, 25 years ago.”

While Thanksgiving weather near the nation’s capital carries more than a hint of wintry weather, this family prefers to give thanks in shorts.

”It’s all about the weather, the people, it’s friendly, the food,” she said.

Early Wednesday morning, with the volume of day-before-the-holiday travelers strong, lines moved quickly through security.

Two weeks ago, the Transportation Security Administration forecast a record number of flyers during the Thanksgiving holiday season, with almost 27 million passengers passing through security checkpoints between Nov. 22 and Dec. 2.

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