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Monday to be fourth busiest day of year at Appleton Airport

Posted at 5:50 PM, Nov 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-26 18:50:41-05
  • Video shows travelers at Austin Straubel and Appleton's airport on Sunday
  • On what is historically one of the busiest travel days of the year, NBC 26 speaks with travelers and an airport official about what the day has been like
  • Jesse Funk of the Appleton Airport said the amount of people set to go through TSA on Monday is projected to surpass Sunday
  • Funk said Monday could shape up to be one of the airport's busiest days of the year with about 1,900 people set to pass through TSA

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Over a million Wisconsinites are expected to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, now many of them are returning home.

AAA said Sunday is the busiest day to return home this holiday weekend. On Sunday, Green Bay and many other parts of the area are seeing snow for the first time since Halloween.

"Hearing all the stories about the storms this holiday I was a little bit worried that come today it would be crazy weather-wise," Cristina Casis, who stopped at the Austin Straubel Airport on Sunday, said. "Although it started to snow, I think its going to be okay … like oh, been there, done that. This is like a little icing."

Casis took her daughter, who is heading back to college in Minnesota, to the airport after Thanksgiving break.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving is regarded as one of the busiest travel days of the year.

"We're going to see about 1,600 people go through TSA by the end of the day today," Jesse Funk, Air Service and Business Development Manager for the Appleton Airport said. "That's a fairly busy day for us, a little bit busier than normal, and that's about 5% over [the Sunday after Thanksgiving] last year."

This year, the Monday after Thanksgiving is bringing more passengers through the airport.

"We're going to see over 1,900 people come through TSA, and that will make [Monday] possibly the fourth busiest day for us," he said.

Funk said the ability for people to work remotely since the pandemic could be part of the reason why travelers are leaving for Thanksgiving sooner and coming back later.

"Travel is different than what it used to [be]," traveler Brookh Lyons said at the Austin Straubel Airport Sunday. "Right after COVID, you know, with the close downs, right after the close downs there was so much changed, 'cause so many people started flying again. But, now it's kind of found its ease again."

AAA reports most Thanksgiving travelers are getting behind the wheel rather than in the air. About 49 million people nationwide are expected to be on the road.