It’s that time of year.
“As we move out of the pandemic, the travel volume for this Thanksgiving is expected to be the highest on record for Southern California,” Corporate Communications and Programs Manager with AAA, Doug Shupe, shared.
Family gatherings bring busy airports and highways as Thanksgiving quickly approaches.
But this year’s holiday travel may look a little different compared to years past, not just in the desert, but across the country.
“We’re expecting more than 5.5 million people will travel on United alone,” United Airlines Spokesperson Nicole Carriere said. “This is looking like a little more than double what we have on a typical week in November, so the airports are going to be busy.”
According to AAA, this Thanksgiving travel is expected to be the highest on record for Southern California.
“4.5 million people will go somewhere for the holiday weekend,” Shupe continued. “Of those, 3.9 million people will take road trips and 542,000 will fly somewhere.”
Of the 30,000 travelers departing next week from the Palm Springs International Airport, the day before Thanksgiving will be the busiest with over 7,600 people flying out that day, almost 24% more than last year.
This means parking may be scarce.
“We have added more parking since last year but we do still expect parking demand to exceed the capacity that we have,” Deputy Director of Aviation Marketing and Air Service at PSP, Daniel Meier, explained. “So we’re going to be posting regularly to our social media channels, but also we like to encourage people to consider taking alternate forms of transportation like a taxi or Uber.”
Knowing this, travelers should prepare ahead of time.
“We’re expecting lines up to 30 minutes at the TSA checkpoints,” Meier continued. “We want people to be very aware and give themselves plenty of time to get here so they don’t miss their flight.”
But there are ways to make your traveling much smoother.
“Thanksgiving is one holiday where people like to bring baked goods to their friends and family to share,” Carriere said. “TSA actually has a really interesting tool where you can physically type in the item that you’re thinking about bringing with you and it’ll tell you if you can carry it on safely or if it has to go in your check luggage. That’s something you definitely want to make sure that you’re planning well in advance. Plan for a little extra time for sure, at least two hours for domestic flights, three hours for international flights because it’s gonna be packed.”
PSP is suggesting travelers should arrive up to 2.5 hours early to check in luggage and make their flight.