CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — AAA estimates that over 50 million people will be traveling this holiday season, within the landing zone of pre-pandemic numbers. AAA also said that air travel is up nearly 8% from last year, estimating that some 4.5 million Americans are flying.

Folks from all over the country returned to the Capital Region post-Thanksgiving. NEWS10 checked in at local area travel centers for the latest.

“All things pretty good. It’s crowded,” said Gianni Filippone. “But everybody seems to be cool.”

Over 30 flights brought in nearly 5,000 travelers to Albany International Airport, and several trains made their way through the Amtrak station in Rensselaer. Though some folks said that they had feared that their plans would be disturbed, most said that there was not much to worry about this year. 

“He’s taking the train today because we figured to drive would be awful with the traffic,” said Connie Dyer. “But I feel confident with the train and Amtrak and we think it’s the best way to send them back to college.”

“With all the delays, I think about 20 minutes at the beginning,” said Michaela Landman. “Apart from that, everything went smoothly, and we got in just about 10-15 minutes after. So, all good.”

As travelers headed to their departures, some took time to talk about their journeys. “It was a good flight,” said Ford Koles. “It was pretty uneventful, and I just slept for part of the time.”

“Came in from Grand Rapids, connecting in Detroit,” said Simon Volkema. “Had about a half-hour delay in Detroit, which wasn’t half bad.”

Paula Twidale, Vice President of AAA, said that with “lifted travel restrictions more travelers are comfortable taking public transportation.” The CDC continues to advise travelers to be savvy with vaccinations and keep up to date with all their jabs. Wearing a face mask can also help to mitigate the spread of common illnesses this season. They are no longer required, but still recommended especially among large groups.

Meanwhile, returning New Yorkers told NEWS10 that they’re happy to be home. “I’ve been looking really forward to it. It’s kind of warm I’m glad we don’t have any snow I can put up a little bit of rain on the way home,” said Bill Cervera.