Travelers Hit the Roads, Rail and Skies

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Analysts predict a three percent increase in travel during the holidays. According to AAA, planes, trains and automobiles will carry a record 63 million Americans to their Christmas and New Year's destinations.

"We have never seen a Christmas like this," said Tom Williams, president of the Meridian Airport Authority. "All flights are full and many people are using the airport."

Of the Americans who plan to travel, 8.6 million will fly, 3.2 million will travel by bus or train and a whopping 50.9 million will reach their destinations by car.

"Our train will be topped out at about 260 people en route and we contributed to that with Meridian not being one of the bigger stops," said Walt Miles, Amtrak's station agent in Meridian.

"I am staying really busy," said Robert Wilson, manager of Greyhound.

With heavy traffic on the roads, law enforcement officials say there's a need for taking extra precautions.

"We're urging people to obey the traffic laws and arrive on time and be safe and buckle up," said Capt. Billy Mayes, commander of the Mississippi Highway Patrol's Troop H.

Mayes said one of the biggest mistakes motorists make is not paying attention while driving.

"We have more accidents on Interstate 20/59 than any other and those are the best roadways in Mississippi," Mayes said. "And you have people that speed and drink and drive and it does not mix."

"We did not want to drive in the snow so our niece surprised us with tickets," said air traveler, Diana Green.

Officials with the airport advise that you arrive at least one hour early and call ahead to check for delays due to weather. As for those riding the train or bus, don't take big, bulky luggage and show up 30-35 minutes early.