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Memorial Day record-high travel expected at Connecticut airports

AAA is predicting around 400,000 Connecticut residents will be taking to the roads, rails, and skies this holiday weekend.

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn — Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and for many, that means travel.

AAA is predicting around 400,000 Connecticut residents will be taking to the roads, rails, and skies this holiday weekend, like Richard Heiden and his partner, who are heading to Dublin.

“Going to Europe, having a couple of pints while we’re there, it’ll be a good time,” he said.

Went it comes to flying, AAA said this Memorial Day could be the busiest at airports in nearly two decades.

“We got here I think 5 hours early,” said Heiden. “We’ve been reading that this was supposed to be the busiest travel day, so we were pretty worried and that’s what made us come this early.”

AAA predicts air passengers in Connecticut will make up just 11% of those traveling, but Bradley International Airport anticipates 65,000 passengers to depart from the airport over the holiday weekend.

“What we're seeing in Connecticut is a 9% increase in those taking to the skies this year compared to last year, but the biggest jump in Connecticut is actually other modes of transportation,” said Tracy Noble, manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA.

400,000 Connecticut residents are expected to travel 50 miles or more over the holiday weekend and more than 86% of those will be driving.

“We're asking people to prepare ahead of time, and when they're on the roadways, please use some caution and some patience, please make sure everybody in your vehicle is buckled up, or in the proper car seat, put the phone down and don't drive impaired,” Noble said. “We want everybody to get to their holiday destination as safely as possible.”

She adds these travel predictions are 6% more people than Memorial Day last year, just shy of pre-pandemic levels in 2019, but this is not phasing some fliers at Bradley.

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“I was surprised, I thought it’d be a lot busier,”  said Avon resident David Siegel. “You never know at an airport until you arrive.”

For Heiden, he’s hoping their luck stays, for the rest of the trip.

“It’s actually not that busy in here, so we didn’t need to come this early, but it’s better to be safe than sorry,” he said.

Emma Wulfhorst is a political reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at ewulfhorst@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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