Locals gearing up for busy Thanksgiving travel season

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Thanksgiving week is one of the biggest travel periods of the year. The TSA estimates 25 million people will travel by plane, and airports across the United States will be packed.

Though things will be busy for Meridian Regional Airport, officials with it say flying out of Meridian will be convenient for passengers due to the airport’s size.

“It’s almost business as usual,” says Tom Williams, the president of the Meridian Airport Authority. “We run about 80% to 85% full anyway and we’re above 90% for this Thanksgiving week… A lot of people choose to fly through a smaller airport because there’s less congestion and less hassles; the smaller airports have fewer lines, shorter lines, a lot less opportunity for delay, and so a smaller airport’s a lot more convenient for most people.”

There are tips you can follow to make your air travel experience go as smooth as possible.

“I think the first thing is use the TSA.gov website to make sure you pack appropriately, make sure that the liquids and gels are in a quart zip lock bag if you’re carrying it on, or that they’re in your checked luggage,” Williams says. “Be prepared and then be patient; while everything is running on time right now, you never know when weather or other delays will happen and we will get you there for sure, as on time as we possibly can.”

If you’re hitting the roads, gas prices have fallen nearly 6 cents this past week according to GasBuddy; however, prices at the pump are around 11 cents higher than this time last year.

Locals we talked to say that this year’s gas prices aren’t affecting them all that much.

“I plan on not going to far [for Thanksgiving] but the gas prices haven’t really affected it at all,” says Roderick Haralson. “They could come down some, but it’s not really hurting me at all.”

According to GasBuddy, the average price for gas on Sunday, November 18 was $2.36 in Mississippi. That’s lower than the national average of $2.62. On this day last year in Mississippi, gas prices were $2.25.