BOSTON – His finest hour preceded a collossal rush hour.
Once Sen. John Kerry (search) has thanked his party for giving him its presidential nod and braced for a final burst of campaigning, party's over here. Time for the grand exodus.
For most of the delegates, as well as for journalists and visitors among the 35,000 people in Boston for the Democratic National Convention (search), Friday is getaway day.
The rush out of town, after Kerry's acceptance speech late Thursday, also presents a challenge to authorities providing protection for thousands of dignitaries leaving the end. But most planned to depart on Friday, according to airline officials and delegations.
"Everyone has been gone for a week, and people are ready to go back to their families, their children," said Christy Holden, a staff assistant to the Tennessee Democratic Party. She said many of the 250 or so delegates or guests from the state planned to leave on Friday.
Neither the Secret Service nor the Transportation Security Administration (search) would discuss specific security measures planned for Logan International Airport.
"Obviously, with the people we are protecting, we will be where we need to be," said Ann Roman, a spokeswoman for the Secret Service.
The federal government has worked with the Massachusetts Port Authority and state police on airport security during the convention. Travelers were told to expect more police and more bomb-sniffing dogs than usual.
Airlines reported many full flights for Friday.
US Airways said its 15 flights from Boston to Washington, D.C., were booked at almost 100 percent capacity on Friday. "We've got aircraft and crews on reserve to make sure we can cover everything," said spokeswoman Amy Kudwa.
United Airlines, which was operating 35 United or United Express flights from Logan on Friday, advised that people looking to fly standby would have a difficult time.