Some travelers chose to fly in and out of the Santa Barbara airport to avoid freeway traffic.
Passengers said they would rather fly to Los Angeles to get connections than drive the 100 miles in holiday traffic.
The airport added flights and opened check-in counters early at 4.a.m.
By midday airport officials said long term parking had overflowed into short term lots.
AAA travel forecasts are calling 2016 the business Thanksgiving travel weekend since the recent recession.
Most people are driving at least 50 miles to get to their Thanksgiving feast and enjoying low gas prices along the way.
Katie Harris and her dog just traveled cross-country with a friend.
She dropped her friend off at the airport to catch a flight home before driving to see family in San Francisco, one of the top holiday travel destinations.
Her friend, Kate Britton said she is prepared for delays as she heads to Denver and then home to Washington, D.C.
If travelers are late for dinner they know there are usually plenty of leftovers.
Gabe Vincent arrived at Santa Barbara airport from Dallas with his UCSB basketball team.
Vincent said his winter sport doesn’t take a holiday.
The Gauchos will be practicing on Thanksgiving morning and dining with friends who live close to campus.