SRQ airport already bustling with holiday travelers

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SARASOTA - We've officially began Thanksgiving week, and some people on the Suncoast have already packed their bags and are heading out for the holiday.

For the Chryslers, like the song "Leaving on a Jet Plane" their bags are packed, they're ready to go, and the only standing this couple will be doing is waiting in line to get home for the holidays to be hosts.

"We're having Thanksgiving at our house, so we have to cook.  So that's why we're heading home early."

They're not alone as many people on the Suncoast, snowbirds and residents alike, are getting a head start on travel to spend turkey day with friends and family.

"It's family to-do list, I'm cooking Thanksgiving and we have a wedding on Friday so we need Tuesday and Wednesday to function," said Linda Mulrooney.

With some simply hoping to beat the rush of leaving the day before.

"Traveling on Monday makes it certainly easier to get to our destination last minute," said Robin Bauer.

And with flights taking off on time as of right now and many of them booked to capacity,  airport officials remind travelers to make sure they give themselves enough time to make it a stress-free trip.

"If they're bringing Christmas presents with them, don't wrap them because if TSA has to inspect anything they're going to unwrap it.  So give yourself time and also check the weather and check with the airline to make sure that your flight is still on time and leaving as scheduled," said SRQ airport CEO Rick Piccolo.

Which is easy to do for those choosing to fly out of a smaller airport that is closer to home.

"I live in Sarasota and also Sarasota is a much nicer airport, easy to get in and out of, never had any problems traveling," said Steven Hooper.

According to AAA, 43.6 million Americans are projected to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, a 0.7% increase from last year.