Many believe the day before Thanksgiving marks the busiest travel day of the year, but as it turns out, that's a myth. Mitchell International Airport authorities expect just 2,500 passengers to pass through the airport, which is no more or less than any typical Wednesday.
Ryan McAdams, Mitchell International's spokesman, says travel statistics actually spike around Spring Break, and late in the summer, mentioning that the warmer months are much busier for the airport. McAdams says it's hard to pinpoint the busiest day for Milwaukee's airport.
"(The day before Thanksgiving) is considered one of the busiest travel days of the year. Here in Milwaukee, it's almost an average day for us," McAdams said.
Delta Sky Cap Donald McAfee has watched the day before Thanksgiving hysteria unfold from behind his counter for 12 years, but even he says calling Wednesday the busiest travel day is a myth. "We have people here coming to flights that are leaving at 9:40am, and they're coming at six o'clock because they're expecting a crowd, and there's no crowd," McAfee said.
It's an entirely different story at Milwaukee's Amtrak station, where they say the day before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after are the two busiest days for travelers taking trains. On an average Wednesday, they run 77,000 passengers, and on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, they anticipated between 135,000 and 140,000 passengers traveling by train.
"You'll see a lot more Amtrak badges and Amtrak faces than you normally would. We want to make sure that even if you are experienced at the station, that it is as worry-free and stress-free as possible, especially since we are going to have a lot of new travelers," Charlie Monte Verde with Amtrak said.
Amtrak representatives suggest showing up a good 45 minutes before your train is scheduled to leave on these busy travel days.