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Holiday travel conditions improve Christmas Eve

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(WJLA) - After several days that tested the holiday spirit of Christmas travelers, flying on Tuesday was a breath of fresh air.

Travelers choose to go by rail

At Reagan National Airport, like so many others across the country today, there was extra staff on deck to guide the planes more smoothly and get travelers through security faster.

The increase in personnel definitely helped, says this family that returned from the Bahamas today fearing they’d have to face a travel nightmare:

"It was very nice not have snow on the ground," said air passenger Nolan Guagenti. "It was surprising to see all of the flights on time."

But with an estimated 95 million traveling this week in the air and on the roads and by train, some hiccups are to be expected – as this family discovered trying to get out of Orlando:

"It was very busy in Orlando," said air traveler Lisa Siddal.  "I think people were trying to get home right before Christmas."

And from the roads to the rails, there were many who chose to travel by train on Tuesday.

"We feel like its The best way to travel right now," said Alonzo Washington.

In recent years, Christmas Eve has become one of the busiest travel days of the year. And while Union Station didn’t have delayed travelers packed wall-to-wall -- as witnessed on Thanksgiving -- lines for some trains seemed to go on forever, even an hour before the departure time.

But for many of the passengers, it was well worth the wait compared to the alternatives:

"You don't pay tolls...and the train gets you there faster," said Talaya Loran.

2.3 million people from our area are expected to leave town for the holidays, and 90-percent will do so driving.

Some like John Hell decided to postpone their departures in order to avoid congested roads, and leave on Christmas Day instead:

"Less people will be on the road," he said.

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