HOLIDAY TRAVEL: Winter storm moving across country to potentially delay post-holiday travel

In the air:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tens of thousands of passengers are expected to pass through Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, returning home after the holidays.

[Where CLT lands on ranking of best airports for holiday travel]

Airport officials said Wednesday and Thursday will be two of the busiest times of the season.

Airlines for America has projected that there will be a 5.2 percent increase in the number of travelers from last year and predicts that we will see a rush at the airport through Jan. 6.

Weather is also expected to play a role in potentially delaying the post-holiday travel.

As of 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, all flights out of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport were on time, but that could change as we go through the rest of the week with incoming weather.

Charlotte is expecting rain, but other parts of the country are seeing snow.

Snow already fell on the West Coast, including California.

On the roads:

A mix of snow and ice caused more than a dozen vehicles to crash on Freeway 15 near the Cajon Pass as the post-holiday travel began.

"I let it drift over, and I was getting over and then it kinda just slid to the side and as soon as I got ready to go, the lady rammed into me. She jumped out, I jumped out and then all the cars started coming," driver Jovan Harris said.

In our area, a fatal crash on Christmas Eve on I-85 near Concord Mills Mall shut down the road for hours.

AAA officials said 2.8 million people are expected to travel by car in North Carolina and 1.3 million are expected in South Carolina.

The number of cars on the road this year is a 3 percent increase from 2017.

Troopers expect the roads to become more hectic as the holiday travel season picks up and the heavy rain begins to fall over the next few days.

Local tow truck driver Timothy Phelps said he racks up more miles than the average driver around Charlotte on a daily basis, but during the holidays, it's even worse.

"I've seen too many fatalities out there," said Phelps.

According to officials, early in the morning is the best time to hit the roads.

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