ROMULUS, Mich. – With millions expected to be on the move this week, many are taking to the air as a band of wintry weather makes its way east.
Detroit is now a city to watch for the potential of rolling delays.
Travelers at Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) are trying to get a head start on holiday travel, but the line is already backed up. The airport is also a hub for Delta Air Lines, which is expecting nearly six million thanksgiving travelers between now and the end of the month.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving could be a record-setting travel day.
Carol Kormash, 90, is taking her first trip since the start of the pandemic. Her friend Diane Evans was there to see her off.
“I haven’t seen a line up yet,” Kormash said. “Just this right here.”
Staffing problems are still plaguing the major airlines, which means delays at baggage check, security screenings and possibly flights.
In a notice to passengers this week, Delta said they have stepped up staff and graduated more flight attendants hoping to avoid long delays and a growing number of altercations aboard planes.
On roadways, AAA is estimating 48 million will be driving this week, and has released a video reminding drivers to pack emergency items and a little patience.
But COVID is surging in Michigan, and worries the virus could spread among travelers has health officials on high alert. A mask advisory for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers has been issued this week.
“It is critical that, as we gather for holidays, visit with friends, go to work and other places in our communities, that we all take steps to protect ourselves and avoid another surge in the coming weeks,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.