Airports prepare for record number of travelers this Thanksgiving

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Nationwide, 31 million people are expected to fly for the Thanksgiving holiday, making this a record travel year, according to Airlines for America.

Wednesday, November 27, is projected to be the busiest travel day before Thanksgiving, with the TSA prepared to screen 2.7 million people nationwide. On a typical weekday, that number is about 2.1 million people.

More TSA agents at security and more K-9s will help speed things up.

But everything will take longer, from when travelers leave home until they reach their destination.

Airlines for America says this was expected, and those behind the scenes planned for it.

“The airlines, the airports and TSA all saw this coming, so they have been working together to plan ahead for this,” said Rebecca Spicer with Airlines for America. “They’ve been positioning extra employees at a wide range of points throughout your travel journey, so from the curb to the ticket counter to the gate to baggage claim you’re going to see more people.”

Spicer said airlines added more than 800 flights per day over the Thanksgiving holiday period, making 100,000 additional seats available to travelers.

The single busiest air travel day this Thanksgiving holiday is projected to be Sunday, December 1, when many return home. That day alone will see 3.1 million fliers nationwide, shattering records.

To make travel smoother, Airlines for America recommends:

  • Leave early. Expect that everything will take longer, from driving or ride sharing to parking, check-in and security. The TSA says to arrive to the airport at least two hours before your flight.
  • Make your luggage stand out to speed up the baggage claim process.
  • Download your airline’s app for immediate updates on issues like delays or gate changes.

Click here to check flight status.

Click here to view the TSA’s ‘Security Screening’ rules.

A near-record number of travelers on the road are expected as well.

AAA projects more than 55 million people will drive for the Thanksgiving holiday, the most since 2005.

They say expect delays on the roads. In major metro areas, road travel could take four times longer than normal.

Indiana State Police say they will have 150 additional troopers on patrol.

Last year they responded to more than 2500 accidents. More than 300 resulted in injury and 12 were deadly.

“What we’re trying to do is reduce the death and the fatality number down to zero,” ISP sergeant Matt Ames said. “We need the cooperation of the public out here, the motorists out here as well.”

Sergeant Ames also asked drivers to use caution, and be mindful of others on the road.

“What we need is them to number one is pay attention to their speed, make sure they’re not following too close, make sure they’re being courteous drivers out here.”

Click here to check current gas prices.

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