Whether by planes, trains, or automobiles, Thanksgiving traveling isn't always a walk in the park. AAA Michigan estimates 1.3 million state residents will travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving holiday. Sawyer International Airport officials are reporting that almost all of their flights are fully booked for Wednesday and Thursday.
Early Wednesday, however, heavy fog in Chicago, a major hub for connecting flights, canceled about 200 flights and delayed about 800 between both Midway and O'Hare airports. This kept some travelers stuck at Sawyer longer than they had hoped.
"With the fog and Mother Nature, she does what she wants without any assistance from us. With fog there is not a whole lot you can prepare for," said Airport Manager Duane Duray.
The fog eventually cleared enough for travel by late morning. Otherwise, things have been running smoothly at Sawyer for travelers, but with so many more people coming and going, Duray insists that travelers be prepared.
"Plan in advance, call the airlines, constantly keep a vigilance on the flights to make sure that they're running on time, if they're delayed, and plan for that," Duray said.
For those choosing to travel by road, the Michigan State Police are cracking the whip on drunk drivers in their 2013 holiday safety initiative Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort, or Operation CARE.
"There are going to be extra enforcements that will be out on the road checking for impaired drivers," said Trooper Stacey Rasanen with the Michigan State Police Negaunee Post.
Operation CARE is a nationwide endeavor. The operation enforces all laws, but state troopers will be doubling down on their search for drunk drivers. The name of the operation changes each year, but the message is the same.
"We want to make sure, again, that this weekend is safe, that you make sure that if you are going to drink that you're going to have a designated driver, and that you drink responsibly," Rasanen said.
There has not been one alcohol-related fatal car accident in the U.P. during the Thanksgiving period since 2007. Operation CARE took effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday and will end Sunday night.