Airport traffic skyrocketing as thousands travel for Thanksgiving

United Airlines line at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (Daniel Guerrero/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Nationally traffic around airports is expected to escalate all day as thousands travel home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanksgiving eve is considered the country’s busiest travel day of the year as people jet off to see family and friends.

However this is not the case for Austin Bergstrom International Airport. While there will be longer lines with more people, it is not the Austin airport’s busiest time.

According to number released by the TSA last year, the day before Thanksgiving ranked as the 41st busiest day here in Austin. The craziest day for travel in Austin already passed; it was the Monday following Formula One, which has broken records for  the number of departing passengers.

The Austin airport is actually one of the fastest growing in the country and they have continuously seen numbers rise each year. ABIA is up about 10-percent so far this year.

If you are coming to the airport for the first time in a while, there are a number of construction projects that have just wrapped up. There’s a new customs facility as well as a new large security checkpoint. The biggest change is the new rental car facility that opened in October and brought about 800 additional public parking spaces on the ground floor.

“Really Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times for our parking, we do have a tendency to get close to capacity during Thanksgiving so the 800 additional parking spaces will certainly help and we do plan on using the overflow lot so we will have flaggers and signage available to help people find those open lots,” said ABIA spokesperson Jason Zielski.

All the security checkpoints will be open, staffed and running. It is advised you leave more time to check bags. More bag fees mean more people will try to take awkward carry-ons through security.

Travel tips:

  • You should check your flight status before you head out
  • Arrive to your gate 90 minutes before flying
  • If you have kids under 12 they can leave their shoes, jackets, and head-wear on during screening
  • Check TSA for prohibited items going through security

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