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Portland Jetport Reports Increased Traffic During Busy Holiday Period

PORTLAND, Maine _ The Portland Jetport is seeing an uptick in travelers this week ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Assistant airport director Zach Sundquisd says typically the Jetport sees about 2,000 travelers a day this time of year.

"The past three days, we've been closer to 25...2,600, so it's definitely been an increase," says Sundquisd. "This time of year we get a lot of passengers that haven't flown in a year, so we recommend 90 minutes prior just to give you that extra time to get through TSA."

The Transportation Security Administration predicts this will be the busiest travel season in its history. While the TSA is warning about longer wait times to get through security, the US State Department is reminding travelers to be on extra alert. The State Department issued a worldwide travel alert two days ago due to increased terrorist threats.

That makes Kim Alexander of Wilton a little more concerned about her Wednesday flight from Portland to New Jersey.

"You're foolish if you don't think about it, I think," said Alexander. "But I just trust that they're taking all the precautions and they're probably on more alert because of it, so I'm hoping for everything to go well for everyone."

The alert didn't dampened the excitement of Patrice Goodwin of Eastport, who was at the Jetport Wednesday with her husband to embark on a vacation in Europe.

"I figure if we get terrified by the terrorists, they've won," Goodwin says.

That sentiment was echoed by Kurt Hellebuick of Belgium who was at the Jetport Wednesday afternoon to catch a flight home after a business trip in Maine.

"If we would get easily in a panic, that would help them with their cause, and we shouldn't do that," Hellebuick says.

Despite the increased security, Michelle Osgood of Easton says she got through security the fastest she can remember for her flight from Nashville to Portland on Wednesday.

"Everyone was so kind today," Osgood said. "No struggles, and people were very kind - we were kind of surprised."

The State Department travel alert is in effect through February 24th.