By Crystal Cranmore


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Christmas is just three days away and Sunday is one of the busiest travel days of the year. Officials at Philadelphia International Airport expect to see over 700,000 travelers this weekend through Jan. 1.

After a warm embrace from mom and dad after nearly a year stationed in Hawaii, 21-year-old Austin Cole is returning home just in time for the holidays.

“Feels good to be back in Jersey. Philly now, Jersey later,” Cole said.

Cole says getting to Philly was stress-free.

“Traveling is like second nature to me now,” he said.

But Cole’s parents couldn’t shake the anxiety as they waited for him at the airport Sunday.

“I’m ecstatic — nothing like him being home,” April Cole said.

Chris Cole wore wears, red, white and blue in honor of his son.

(Credit: CBS3)

“I’m super proud of my son,” Chris Cole said. “Couldn’t ask for a better Christmas present.”

Cole is kicking off his holiday vacation thinking of Eagles green as he headed to tailgate the Eagles-Cowboys game.

It was one hug after the other as flights landed at the airport.

Some of those taking off took holiday spirit to new heights.

“I see my parents once or twice a year so I like making a big thing out of it,” said Matt Johnson, who’s heading to Washington.

Johnson got through security screening in a breeze.

“You don’t have to take off your shoes, it’s super easy,” Johnson said.

AAA says enrolling in programs such as TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.

The agency says seven million people will fly this holiday, the largest number that experts have seen in 16 years.

“AAA is attributing that to the large economy in recent years,” AAA spokesperson Jana Tidwell said.

“We always tell people to get here two hours early,” PHL spokesperson Heather Redfern said.

But officials say give yourself more times during the holiday season, which is good advice wherever you might go for the holidays.

Crystal Cranmore