Residents fly out of Rockford airport for warmer weather this Thanksgiving

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The American Automobile Administration (AAA) expects 53.4 million Americans to travel over the Thanksgiving weekend, up 13% from last year.

Several travelers who spoke with Eyewitness News on Wednesday said they were trying to escape to somewhere warmer.

Stephanie Ulva, her husband, and her two kids, Harper and Edwin, were all packed and ready to go this morning at the Chicago Rockford International Airport.

“They have five pools,” she said of her destination in Arizona. “We’re going to go to the zoo and we’re going to see friends and family and hang out at their houses.”

Passengers at the airport lined up early this morning to catch a flight out of town.

Russ Yager, from Lena, said, “I’m going to warm weather, doing a lot of golfing, spending time with my wife and family.”

Dixon resident Catie Cox said today was the first time she and her family had traveled for Thanksgiving.

“We’ve never traveled for Thanksgiving. We’ve always stayed home, so this is new for us,” she said. “I think we’re just going to hang out. I think we both rented AirBnBs. We’re going to hang out as a large, extended family and hang out in the warm weather.”

Many people said they were flying to do activities they can’t do locally, while others said they were headed home to spend time with family.

“We’ll be pontooning on one of the rivers, up in the mountains, and maybe do some horse back riding in the mountains, lots of swimming in the pool lots of sunshine and beer,” said Kathy Schaefer.

“Mainly seeing friends but we’re going to go to Scottsdale and Phoenix and a few suburbs I think we’re going to Mesa and we’re going to be traveling doing some hiking and seeing some sites, yay!” said Ulva.

“We’re getting the whole family together. We have a really large family, so we’re excited. It’s the first time that my siblings are coming to Illinois in 6 years so it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Keith Schuler.

According to AAA, about 48.3 million people will be hitting the road as well.

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