Pack Your Patience

Airport Expects Large Crowds Thanksgiving Week

Flying home for the holidays? Lindbergh Field expects a high influx of travelers during Thanksgiving week, so be sure to arrive early and be prepared for a crowd.

Sharie Shipley of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority said Monday that the airport expects 53,000 to 55,000 passengers a day between Wednesday, Nov. 26 and Sunday, Nov. 30. The airport normally sees an average of 40,000 to 50,000 passengers a day. To account for the high numbers of travelers, Shipley urged passengers to arrive early for flights.

Anyone flying nationally should arrive at least 2 hours early, while international travelers should make sure to come 3 hours ahead of departure.

Extra airport staff will work through the holiday to aid travelers, according to Shipley. The airport’s system of three distinct security lines should also speed things along. Frequent business travelers should use the “expert” lanes, while passengers who are familiar with travel but fly less frequently should use the “casual” traveler lanes. Anyone traveling with small children, the elderly, or passengers in need of special assistance should use the “family/special assistance” lanes. 

In order to make your travels as smooth as possible, be sure to prepare ahead of time. Remember that liquids, gels, and aerosols carried on the plane must be 3 oz. or less. All containers must then be packaged within a one-quarter clear plastic, zip-locked bag.

Shipley warned that all holiday flights are “packed to the max,” and arriving early is the most efficient solution for travelers.

For the latest conditions at the airport, visit Lindbergh Field's Web site.

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