From the NY Times:
CHICAGO — Airports big and small will be packed on Wednesday, just as they are every year on the day before Thanksgiving.
But the long lines and frayed nerves actually started last week, as many penny-pinching travelers booked earlier, and less expensive, flights.
As a result, what used to be a quick holiday trip home is now stretching to a week or more.
“I took my boys out of school for a couple days because it was so much cheaper,” said Peggy Edwards, who flew into New York last Friday from Atlanta with her two sons, and figured she saved at least $100 on each fare by flying earlier.
“That’s why we decided to make a week of it, to get our money’s worth,” she added.
Executives at several major airlines said they noticed the shift this year, with the crush starting several days earlier than usual.