CHICAGO (AP) — Elizabeth Thompson can’t wait to leave the big city behind and decompress over the Thanksgiving holiday at her grandmother’s house in rural south-central Indiana. But first she has to get there.
On Wednesday, Thompson, 23, missed her Amtrak train from Chicago to Galesburg, Illinois, where she’d planned to catch a ride with a family member the rest of the way to Edinburgh, Indiana.
“It’s just where we go to unplug and escape,” said Thompson, who had to decide whether to wait several hours for the next train or hop on a bus and get going.
Americans took to the roads, air and railways Wednesday for what is expected to be the busiest Thanksgiving travel period in almost a decade. Almost 49 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more between Wednesday and Sunday, the most since 2007, because of lower gas prices and an improving economy, according to AAA.
And while they look forward to eating turkey and watching football, many are ready to abandon another, more recent, American pastime: rehashing the rancorous election between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“My mother specifically said, ‘We’re not going to talk about it,'” for her grandmother’s sake, Thompson said. Although nobody in her family supported President-elect Trump, “my grandmother is sick of hearing about it.”
Sitting on their suitcases at a departure lounge at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, a major travel hub, Sharyn Ioffe and her brother Saul Ioffe said there’s a good chance politics will intervene this Thanksgiving when they arrive home in New York.
“I’m pretty anxious about it,” said Sharyn Ioffe, 27, who supported Clinton, though others in her family sided with Trump. “I’m still very emotional about the election. I know you have to try and understand the other side. But I’m not there yet.”
Saul Ioffe, 20, said he is expecting some heated exchanges.
“I’m battening down the hatches,” he said.
Lines of cars, taxi cabs and buses dropping travelers off and picking others up at O’Hare terminals grew longer by early evening. Crowds grew steadily inside, too, as travelers pulled suitcases into departure terminals decked out with giants wreathes. A light, cold rain fell outside, but most flights as of evening were listed on big boards as “on time.”
The Chicago Department of Aviation said on its website that delays were averaging 15 minutes.
The weather appeared to be cooperating for the most part, with no significant issues in the majority of the country, the National Weather Service said.
The National Weather Service issued winter weather advisories for parts of northern Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan as well as western and central Montana and central Idaho, New York and Pennsylvania for Wednesday night. A winter storm warning was in effect for parts of northwest Washington state, with heavy snow expected through Thanksgiving Day.
AP reporters Michael Tarm in Chicago, Karen Matthews in New York, Matthew Brown in Billings, Montana, and Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia contributed to this report.
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30
Continue reading Thanksgiving Travel Expected To Be Heaviest Since 2007