ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Saturday is one of the biggest travel days of the year and many families are gearing up to pack up and head out for the holiday. However, some travelers are avoiding big crowds and long lines by flying out of the Chicago Rockford International Airport.
"It's a heck of a lot easier than going to O'Hare,” said Amanda Grayson, whose family is flying to Florida for the holiday.
The Grayson family drove more than an hour from Montgomery, Illinois to fly out of RFD for their Christmas vacation just to avoid the crowds at Chicago airports.
"Just the convenience and the lesser lines, it's a little bit easier with the kids getting through security, doing all the fun stuff. You know, I'm sure if we were at O’Hare right now we wouldn't have just waited 15 minutes to check our bags, we would have been waiting hours,” said Grayson.
RFD had hundreds of passengers fly in and out of the airport Friday evening. Some travelers say flying out of the Rockford airport is an easy experience.
"The holidays it's hard to find affordable pricing no matter where you go, but still the convenience of Rockford you can park here for free and you have a 50 yard walk compared to having to take a shuttle at O'Hare. And Midway, I wouldn't even go to Midway, I wouldn't have a friend go to Midway, it's just too crazy to get down there,” said Dave Laxton who drove from Capron to fly out of RFD.
"It's very convenient for us to have her fly into Rockford,” said Annette Waddelow.
Waddelow's sister flies into RFD almost every Christmas to visit with family. Waddelow says being able to pick up her sister without dealing with hectic traffic makes the experience a lot less stressful.
"Overall it just makes for a very enjoyable travel experience for her,” said Waddelow.
"It's not as hectic for the workers just like it's not as hectic for us to be able to get through the lines and everything, so it's actually pleasant going to the airport at Rockford,” said Jason Grayson.
Friday was just the beginning of the busy holiday travel weekend. Multiple flights will be taking off out of RFD all weekend long.