Busy Thanksgiving travel day by trains, planes, automobiles

- Maybe it’s the busiest travel day of the year and maybe it’ll be Sunday, but AAA is reporting almost 49 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving. That’s the most since 2007.

The slowly improving economy could get some credit for that.

To help you pay ahead of time, certain Regional Rail ticket offices will have extended hours on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Kelly Drive will be closed at the Art Museum Circle for Thanksgiving Parade preparations. The closures will continue through Thursday.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is expecting nearly 3.5 million vehicles on the toll road throughout the Thanksgiving holiday. So far, Tuesday saw the heaviest volume and it’s expected to pick up again Sunday as everyone heads home.

All construction has been suspended except for emergencies. State troopers will be watching for speeders and drivers texting while driving.

New Jersey officials say Thanksgiving is one of the state’s deadliest holidays on the highways. Last year, 15 people were killed on roads over the holiday weekend. Six of those were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

They say the night before Thanksgiving is particularly dangerous because college students home on break flock to parties to reunite with friends.

State Police say distracted driving was the number one cause of fatal crashes in the state for the past six years as more drivers are using cellphones and other hand-held devices behind the wheel.

Amtrak says it has "additional trains, added capacity and all hands on deck to accommodate the increased number of passengers expected."

TSA public affairs manager Mike McCarthy suggested double-checking both your checked and carry-on luggage, and using your time in line to take out your boarding pass and ID. He also pointed out explosive detection dogs are there to help.

And FOX 29 Weather Authority meteorologist Scott Williams notes we have nice weather here, but bad weather in the Midwest may cause flight delays so be sure to check with your airline first.

Philadelphia International Airport offers these suggestions:

--Check your flight status prior to arriving by contacting your airline directly, calling the Airport at 800-PHL-GATE, or visiting the airport’s website, phl.org and clicking on “Flight Information” for the latest updates. Have your flight number ready.

--If you are 18 or older, have a valid government-issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, military ID, or government employee ID.)

--Arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to your departure time in case extra time is needed for checking-in and security screening.

--Liquid, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes in 3.4-ounce or small containers may be carried onto the aircraft in a re-sealable, one quart, clear plastic bag. Only one such bag per traveler is allowed and it must be removed from your bag for inspection at the check point. Liquids, gels and aerosols in containers larger than 3.4 ounces must be placed in your checked baggage. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces and they do not need to be in a zip-top bag. Declare the items for inspection at the checkpoint. Items may be opened and are subject to additional screening.

--Wheelchair service request are handled by airline ticket counter personnel. American Airlines also offers electric cart service. If you need services to travel, consult with your airline when making your reservation and confirm that request before the day of departure.

--Drinks are not permitted through the checkpoint. Picking up a carry-on meal and beverage for your flight once you passed through the check point is suggested. Water bottle filling stations are located in the terminals past the security checkpoints.

--Do not wrap gifts. They may be opened for inspection. This applies to both checked and carry on items. Free gift wrapping will be provided inside security for purchases at any airport shop.

--The SEPTA Airport Rail Line runs every 30 minutes and stops at Terminals A,B,C/D and E. The one-way fare is $8 to and from Center City (cash only).

--Finally, “If you see something that doesn’t look or seem right, don’t hesitate to tell a police officer or call 3111 from a white courtesy phone. Safety is everyone’s business.”

DEVELOPING NEWS: Stay with FOX 29 News and Fox29.com for updates all day long as we get more information.

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