Travelers brave fog, rain, crowds for the holiday

PHILADELPHIA - November 25, 2009

At the Philadelphia International Airport, bad weather in other parts of the country caused the biggest headaches. People had to deal with cancellations and delays of up to three hours.

That meant it was a long day with people staring at the flight screens to see if they'd get into the air on time.

Despite this day's reputation for heavy travel, one woman who has worked at the airport for 10 years said it felt like a ghost town this week.

"It's been very slow here. Light travelling," said Belinda Davis. "It's been completely dead. Nobody has been here at all."

High fares and holiday surcharges have kept many people at home, or looking for other ways to get around.

AAA estimated a seven percent drop in air travel this year.

On the other hand, AAA esimated an increase in travel on the highway, and by the looks of things, they were right.

People hit the roads in droves, despite higher prices at the pumps.

Traffic got heavier as the day went on, something drivers knew first hand.

"A mess! I left at 11:45 yesterday morning and didn't get here until after 10:00 p.m.," said Mandy Hoile of Charlesburg, Virginia.

Larry Rolle, a professional bus driver from Dover, Delaware, had a simple piece of advice:

Everybody needs to realize that weather conditions dictate that you need to slow it down. It might take you a few minutes extra, but let's all get there safe."

Then there are those who've decided to ride the rails to get to grandma's house.

Amtrak expected its ridership to increase by an estimated 50,000 customers over a typical Wednesday.

That's not surprising when you see the lines at 30th Street Station.

Systemwide Amtrack expected as many as 125,000 passengers took the train.

As for why they chose the rail?

"The bus is disgusting and airplane tickets are very expensive. So that leaves the train," said Temple University student Kendra Royster.

"It's a 12 hour drive, and the flights are too expensive," said Stephanie Luccia of South Philadelphia, who was headed to Greenville, South Carolina.

Most of the trains were running close to on time, despite the bad weather.

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