CHICAGO - After more than a year of missed vacations, weddings and more due to the coronavirus pandemic, people seem ready to travel this Memorial Day weekend.
AAA says 137 million people are expected to be on the move for the holiday weekend. Most of them will take to the roads but the biggest surge is in air travel.
While travel is still not back to 2019 levels, the Chicago Department of Aviation says 565% more passengers will go through O’Hare Airport and 433% more will pass through Midway Airport than at the same time last year.
Expect long lines and don’t forget your mask, and not just for the plane. Mask-wearing, while relaxed in many other settings, is still required in airports, train stations and bus terminals. And you must mask-up on buses trains and planes.
While AAA says the top travel destinations this year include Florida and Las Vegas, most people at O’Hare Thursday were traveling to see friends and family.
"This is grandma business," said Patricia Smith of Hillside. "If I wasn’t vaccinated, I probably wouldn’t be going."
Eric Scholl said his sister and mother are attending a family wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
"So this wedding was planned already and they did not have to reschedule," said Eric’s mother Ann Scholl. "And we’re all able to go."
The Scholl’s say in the midst of of the pandemic several months ago they never imagined they would still be able to go.
P.T. Clement, said he has continued to travel for business and has seen a slow change in traffic at the airport.
"Like this is a mad house compared to anything I’ve seen in the past couple months. It’s really crazy, honestly," he said. "It’s a good sign for the future, right?"