25K travelers expected to begin flight at Charlotte airport Wednesday

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Traffic started picking at the airport Wednesday around 5 a.m. as travelers headed out to see family on Thanksgiving.

Airport officials said 25,000 people are expected to go through screening  at Charlotte Douglas Airport through the course of the day.

Hundreds of travelers were already in the security line at Charlotte Douglas airport around 5:30 a.m.

Channel 9 spoke to one woman who was traveling to California for the holiday.

“Usually we stay here and everyone comes here to Charlotte. (It's) crazy, other than the day we flew out after the Democratice National Convention was here,” said Kathy Clemmer.

Airport officials have taken steps to alleviate the wait times this year.

Officials said they hope to get people through security within 20 minutes or less.

Children under the age of 12 and people over the age of 75 years old will not have to take off their shoes at the security line.

A fifth gate has been opened at the airport to alleviate congestion.  Airport officials are urging travelers to arrive two hours before departure to allow extra time.

Wednesday is one of the busiest travel days of the year, and 90 percent of it will happen on the roads.

There won’t be any construction on state or federal roads in an effort to make the drive easier.

The motor club keeping an eye on the highways across the Carolinas says there will be a few more motorists on the road for Thanksgiving because of a significant drop in the price of gasoline.

AAA Carolinas said there will be a 1 percent increase in the number of people driving during the four-day holiday. Spokesman Tom Crosby attributes the increase to a 54-cent drop in the price of a gallon of gasoline at North Carolina pumps since mid-September.

Traveling in South Carolina will be even less painful. The average price of $3.13 per gallon there is the cheapest in the country.

Construction projects in North Carolina are suspended during the holiday. In South Carolina, contractors are required to keep all lanes open during heavy holiday travel periods.

Check for lowest gas prices in Charlotte right here.

Check traffic in your area before you head out on our traffic page here.