Holiday travelers ditch DMV area ahead of winter storm

As a blistering winter storm approaches the D.C. region, holiday travelers are keeping a close eye on the weather, and at local airports, an even closer eye on the cancelation boards. 

Wednesday evening, the situation at Reagan National Airport didn't seem too hectic. FOX 5 noticed passengers are showing up, and flights are moving. 

But that could change in the next 24 hours. 

Winter storm 'bomb cyclone' expected to cause travel nightmare across DC region ahead of Christmas weekend

Delta Air Lines, American, United, and Southwest announced Wednesday they'll waive change fees at airports hit with cancelations from the storm. 

FOX 5 spoke with several passengers who are flying into the areas that will be most affected. Many of them have been keeping a close eye on the forecast, and are glad to be flying out early. 

"It’s a little crazy. I think it’s going to drop a lot as far as temperature and an 80% chance of snow on Thursday!" one traveler said. 

"I’ve got nephews and family I haven’t seen yet, so I’m really excited to go see them," another said. 

The Transportation Safety Administration says you can expect Dec. 22, and Dec. 30 to be the busiest days at airports. Airline traffic was expected to be close to pre-pandemic levels. However, the weather is creating some uncertainty, so officials at Reagan National suggest calling your airline, and giving yourself time to get to the airport. 

RELATED: DC area airports brace for winter storm expected to impact holiday travel

"Get here between two hours and three hours before an international flight, so you have time to navigate the parking, the lines, and finding your gate," said Rob Yingling with Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority. 

If you haven't flown out of Reagan National for a while because of the pandemic, you might be in for a surprise. Along with the addition of a new terminal, the airport has now moved its entire security screening into a brand new larger facility.