Inquirer staff writer Brittany Talarico reports from Philadelphia International Airport at 10 a.m.
The Murphy family from Jacksonville, Fla. collected their luggage at Terminal B and headed to visit family in West Chester. There first stop along the way was to catch a glimpse of the Rocky statue on the Art Museum grounds.
Jeanne Murphy, 49, traveling with her husband, Danny, 48, and three children, said, this was their first trip to Philadelphia.
“We bought our tickets before gas prices went down, trying to plan ahead. We were told the flight was sold out but I noticed a couple of empty seats.”
The family, who will be in Philadelphia through Monday, encountered no delays on their U.S. Airways flight in Florida or Philadelphia.
Sean Closkey, 41, of Delran, was headed to Memphis with his daughter, Helen, 7. Normally the family wouldn’t travel the distance on Thanksgiving but they needed to visit a terminally ill cousin, also 7, at Saint Jude’s Hospital.
“Unfortunately it’s not really a celebration but we are going to cheer up our cousin, Katie,” he said.
Passenger traffic at the airport on Thanksgiving Eve is down slightly from last year.
"We're down about 5 percent -- which is not a big drop considering the economy," said airport spokeswoman Phyllis VanIstendal.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is traditionally the second busiest day at the airport. More than 97,000 passengers will pass through the terminals today. On an average Wednesday, about 88,000 fly through PHL.
The biggest crowds are expected Sunday, the heaviest travel day of the year, when nearly 110,000 people will touchdown or take off from airport.
No cancellations or delays have been reported today.
"Weather, which is pretty clear across the country, has been good to us," VanIstendal said.
Lavinia Franklin, 21, of Roxborough, was flying to Orlando for a basketball in DisneyWorld.
“There will be no turkey or Thanksgiving dinner,” said Franklin, who also noted she encountered no problems with ticketing or luggage at the airport.
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