COMMUTE

Local airports crowding with Inauguration attendees heading out

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The major Inaugural festivities are over and now many who've been visiting Washington D.C. over the weekend are headed home. At Reagan National Airport, the volume throughout the day is expected to be like that of the day before Thanksgiving.

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It's estimated that about one million people attended the Inauguration on the National Mall Monday. That's more than the 500,00 to 800,000 that was first projected.

Metro says about 719,000 people were on the tracks Monday and many of them may be back riding the rails today to get to their train or plane.

About 39,000 people were expected to fly out of Reagan National airport Tuesday - the biggest single travel day there in years.

As the security lines snaked throughout the main terminal, airline officials tried to make sure those at the back of the line could still make their flights.

And airport staffers, armed with snacks, tried to keep the crowd calm.

The airlines were prepared for today's onslaught. Four years ago, the post inaugural exodus put a damper on celebrations many. This time around, returning travelers hoped to avoid a repeat of that nightmare.

Cheryl Johnson and her husband were among those on the National Mall.

On Tuesday, they reluctantly got to the airport before the sun was up to head back to Kansas.

“We thought if we could get a later flight, we'd like to do a little more,” Johnson says.

Throughout the morning, the throngs of travelers continued to grow at Reagan National Airport.

Extra staff was on hand help the passengers patiently waiting to check bags. The airports authority handed out water and granola bars.

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