WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — According to the tracking service “Flight Aware”, as of 8pm on Monday, January 2, more than 7,200 U.S. flights were grounded.
That didn’t affect Wilmington International Airport travelers much, on one of the busiest days of the year-end holiday travel period.
There were well over a dozen arrivals scheduled at ILM on Monday afternoon and evening, with flights coming in from New Jersey, Charlotte, and Dallas. Some flights were delayed, but most were on time.
AAA estimated that more than 3 million North Carolinians would travel 50 miles or more away from home during the year-end holiday period of December 23 to January 2.
Two marines stationed at Camp Lejeune arrived at ILM, flying back from visiting their families in New Jersey.
They say they experienced minimal problems traveling on the second day of the new year.
“It was good, smooth flight, no really troubles. No trouble in the airports,” said Joshua Mandell, traveler.
“It was quick, nice and easy,” said Kyle Imperial, traveler.
Two other travelers say they took a road trip from Philadelphia To North Carolina to visit family, and while they didn’t experience much traffic coming. Once they fly into Philadelphia, they expect to be welcomed home by a lot of people traveling.
“So, we already know that it’s going to be hectic there. You know, the new year, a lot of people traveling, a lot of family members, a lot of events. So, we already expect to be like –ambushed with a lot of traffic,” said Hamid Amin, traveler.
Some usually fly during the year-end holiday season, saying their experience traveling this year was better than previous years.
“I’ve done it a couple of times. I definitely feel like it’s been a lot better this year. I feel like most of the people waited to travel last-minute, and since we left pretty early, and got back a little bit after New Year’s, I feel like we’re pretty good,” said Mandell.
AAA’s estimate for North Carolinians traveling is up by 134,000 people, in comparison to last year, and this is a record-high for the year-end holiday travel period in North Carolina since the pandemic.