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INDIANAPOLIS — Ahead of the busy holiday season, Indianapolis International Airport says it’s ready for the expected high volumes of travelers.

Experts predict Thursday, December 23rd, as one of the busier travel days nationwide. Hopper, in its Holiday Travel Outlook, expects 2.5 million seats to depart that day.

In Indianapolis, airport officials expect 14,000-16,000 travelers to depart daily from the facility.

“All of our customer service efforts are being pushed, or being concentrated, in the morning,” said Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says they’re seeing more traffic between 5 – 7 a.m. With more crowds filtering in around that time period, he says more customer service workers will be on hand to help move the travel process along.

“If anybody has a question or needs anything, the only thing you have to do is flag one of our many, many customer service persons,” he said, “and if you need, for example, there’s still a federal mandate that requires a mask on an aircraft. If you need a mask, we’ve got some at customer service.”

The airport is also reminding travelers to pack smart and allow yourself plenty of time before your flight. Rodriguez says they’re airing radio and television ads, promoting holiday travel tips, to prepare people beforehand.

“We love for everybody to travel simply to make sure that they have everything they need, but make sure that they have enough time to get here, get through the line, and maybe have something to eat in the airport, something to drink in the airport,” said Rodriguez.

For carry-on liquids, aerosols, gels, pastes and creams, TSA allows a quart-sized bag with travel containers of 3.4 oz or less.

For early arrival, Rodriguez recommends travelers allow at least two hours before their flight. TSA checkpoint wait times are slightly longer, totaling about 30 minutes at most.

“Sometimes it’s great just to print your boarding pass at home and have everything ready to go, and if you have to check a bag that’s fine,” said Rodriguez. “If you don’t, it makes the process so much easier so you can just go to your gate and get on your airplane.”

As far as where Indy travelers are heading to this year, airport officials shared the top ten destinations based on total seat capacity from 12/22-1/3:

  1. ATL: Atlanta, GA (15,690)
  2. MCO: Orlando, FL (11,292)
  3. DEN: Denver, CO (11,006)
  4. RSW: Fort Myers, FL (10,349)
  5. TPA: Tampa, FL (8,972)
  6. LAS: Las Vegas, NV (8,860)
  7. ORD: Chicago-O’Hare, IL (7,680)
  8. FLL: Fort Lauderdale, FL (7,560)
  9. DFW: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (7,428)
  10. LGA: New York-La Guardia, NY (6,824)

For context, airport officials noted ATL, DEN, ORD and DFW are considered major airline hub airports, where more people go for connecting flights to their destinations.