Updated November 27, 2022 - 5:12 pm
The mass exodus from Las Vegas after a long Thanksgiving Day holiday was in full swing Sunday.
It appears those opting to fly were doing better than those who took the ground route to Southern California.
A backup on southbound Interstate 15 was pegged at 16 miles at one point Sunday morning. Similar backups were evident on Saturday as well.
Meanwhile, Harry Reid International Airport had just five cancelled flights and 202 delayed flights either in or out of the airport on Sunday. More than 2,200 flights were cancelled nationwide Sunday, according to flightaware.com.
If travelers could wait it out, leaving Las Vegas on Monday was their best bet, with the Regional Transportation Commission estimating normal traffic flow on I-15 southbound near Primm.
This was the first major holiday weekend since a 1-mile-long transition lane on I-15 southbound just after the Nevada-California border was opened to traffic. It remains to be seen how much impact the effort on the Nevada side will have on holiday traffic.
About 55 million people were expected to travel nationwide for Thanksgiving, a 1.5 percent increase over 2021 and 98 percent of pre-pandemic travel volume, according to AAA.
Of those, nearly 49 million people are slated to travel by car, with 4.5 million estimated to take to the air. That number represents an 8 percent increase in air travelers over 2021, AAA reported.
The heavy travel volume became evident early the day before Thanksgiving when several Reid parking lots were full before 5 a.m.
No official figure on the number expected Las Vegas visitors was available before the holiday. Holidays typically bring up to 350,000 visitors to the valley, with about 40 percent coming from California.
Thanksgiving weekend was expected to be one of the busiest for travelers in the last 20 years, according to AAA Nevada.