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Record number of holiday travelers this Thanksgiving

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Posted at 7:27 AM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 10:53:22-05

For most, Thanksgiving means family and food, but for millions of people this year it also means flights and fast cars. Whether you’re driving or flying to your Thanksgiving feast, you’ll have a lot of company.

“I’m just hoping to get home to family before the holidays,” said Bill Rezac, a holiday traveler from South Dakota.

AAA predicts this year will have the highest number of travelers since 2003.

TSA expects the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after to be some of the busiest holiday travel days this week.

However, many people didn’t take any chances of missing the turkey dinner and left earlier in the week.

“I like to give myself lots of time just in case something does happen because you never know with the weather,” said Donna Weisberg, a Creston resident.

Others strategically planned their return around the peak days. “I think I’m going to go on a Wednesday, middle of the week so trying to avoid the early week and the weekends,” said Randy Bernosky, a holiday traveler from Alaska.

According to AAA, a record 54 million people will travel at least 50 miles for the holiday.

Most people will be hitting the road, but the airways will also be busy.

The high volume of travelers makes it important for flyers to arrive at least 90 minutes before their flights.

Craig Piper, Airport Deputy Director, said the growing San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport is making it easier for people to reach their destinations. “We have more flights to Denver,” said Piper. “We added last year the Seattle flight and airlines have up-caged their aircraft to more seats and so it’s really shown that passengers are using that.”

It’s likely flyers will run into new technology and heightened security as they go through some of the larger airports.

“People who are traveling that don’t normally fly and so getting them to understand the process and procedures going through the terminal and checkpoint when to be here.”

Whether it’s your first time flying or you’re an experienced traveler, TSA wants to remind people to show up early and be ready to go.

Here’s how you can avoid holding up the security line:

  • Pack small liquids and gels 3.4 ounces or less in travel-sized containers.
  • Bring your favorite holiday baked goods through security, but any liquids over 3.4 ounces (like bottles of wine) will have to go in a checked bag.
  • Renew your TSA pre-check for an expedited security screening.
  • Arrive at least 90 minutes before your departure and allow extra time for parking.

Contact TSA CARES at 855-787-2227 at least 72 hours before flying if someone you are traveling with has disabilities and/or medical conditions and needs assistance through the airport.