COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- This Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday travel season. Experts are saying travel has returned to pre-pandemic levels for the first time here in Colorado.
The few travelers KRDO spoke with Thursday say overall, it was a smooth travel day.
"In the morning I thought it was gonna be crazy busy but it was pretty smooth," traveler Gabriela Rodriguez said. "We got to the parking spot, parked, and were in the airplane in less than an hour."
Other arriving travelers say it was busy, but still smooth sailing.
"Flights are full, which is surprising early in the morning," traveler Mark Hicks said. "But there's a lot of people traveling on the morning of. I would've thought most people would've gotten here yesterday."
According to AAA's holiday forecast, 951,000 Coloradans are traveling for the holiday.
For travelers headed home both by air or road, AAA says the worst time to travel on Friday will be between 4 and 8 p.m. The best time is either before 11 a.m. or after 8 p.m. The same goes for Saturday and for Sunday.
If you haven't booked your return trip yet, you should look for flights that leave early in the day and that fly direct. Those will eliminate the worst chances of delays and cancellations. Also, prepare for your travel in advance.
"We go through a whole checklist to make sure we have everything," Hicks said. "My beautiful wife always makes sure we have everything covered and it usually goes flawlessly."
Also, make sure to arrive to the airport with plenty of time to spare, two to three hours before the scheduled departure. Also, check your flight status regularly before you head to the airport.
"The flight from Charlotte to Dallas was a little rainy and we got a little delayed and we had to run to make our connection," Hicks said. "But we made it. so we're here."
Although many people flying on Thanksgiving had smooth experiences, the same might not be true for return trippers.
The delays both departing from and arriving to Colorado Springs Airport have minimal delays. The few that are present are 25 minutes or less. With one exception of an arriving American Airlines flight from Dallas Fort Worth. It was set to land at 3:13 p.m. but is now delayed to 4:14 p.m. as of 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Click here to view delays in real time at Colorado Springs Airport.