Thanksgiving week is about to begin and people are getting ready to meet with family and friends for the long weekend. And DFW airports are expecting pre-pandemic volumes of passengers. 

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), some 54.6 million people will be traveling 50 miles or more during the festivity making this the third busiest Thanksgiving travel AAA reported since 2000. When compared to 2021, that’s 1.5% more passengers and 98% of the volumes expected before the pandemic began. 

 “Plan ahead and pack your patience, whether you’re driving or flying,” said in a statement AAA’s senior vice president Paula Twidale. “Regardless of the mode of transportation you have chosen, expect crowds during your trip and at your destination. If your schedule is flexible, consider off-peak travel times during the holiday rush.”

Although 49 million people are expected to drive to their holiday destinations, road trips remain 2.5% below 2019 records. Air travel, on the other hand, increased almost 8% since 2021, with 330,000 more passengers flying to gather with friends and family this year. In total, 4.5 million Americans will be opting for plane tickets this season which is nearly 99% of the 2019 volume. 

In Texas, at least 280,000 travelers will be taking flights during the next week, some 6% volume increase for the state when compared to last year. Anticipating this big jump in passenger volumes, the Dallas Love Field and DFW Airport are asking passengers to arrive at least three hours before their plane departure during the Thanksgiving holiday and they are also warning travelers of limited parking space, which is first-come, first-served, valet services included.

 “Anticipate long TSA lines. If possible, avoid checking a bag to allow for more flexibility if flights are delayed or you need to reschedule,” suggested Twidale.

In case you missed it, take a look at Local Profile’s guide to Thanksgiving events in Collin County.