TUS prepared for potential record breaking holiday travel season

TIA prepared for potential record breaking holiday travel season
Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 5:43 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2023 at 2:01 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The holiday travel season is days away and airports across the country are preparing.

In fact, the TSA is preparing to screen 30 million passengers over the 12-day period, which is set to kick off Friday, Nov. 17.

“The holiday season is going to be busier than it has been in a really long time,” said Austin Wright with Tucson International Airport. “55 million Americans are expected to hit the road or jump on a plane. The biggest number we’ve seen in the last 18 years.”

Tucson International Airport is expecting about 88,000 travelers and is confident it can handle it.

“We’re fully staffed, so that’s great,” Wright said. “Whether you’re working with the airlines or you’re working with the TSA, we’ve got the right amount of people at the airport to ensure we can get you to your final destination seamlessly.”

That’s just travel through the air. Experts also expect roads to be packed.

“There are 49 million people who are going to be driving and almost 5 million people who are going to be flying,” said Skift Editor-in-Chief Sarah Kopit. “So it’s going to be busy no matter which way you choose to go.”

While the weather is usually nice and quiet here in Arizona, it’s important to always plan for the weather in the places you’re traveling to.

“Just give yourself some time between your connections,” Kopit said. “Give yourself some more time before the big dinner. Get on that plane or get on the road a little bit earlier.”

The amount of people expected to travel nationwide has increased from last year.

Kopit says it’s up 2.3% from last year and is the third-highest forecast in 18 years. She also said she believes more people may be traveling because of the fallout from COVID lockdowns.

“People have been talking recently about revenge travel,” she said. “I think that’s still a lot about what we have been seeing. It’s been a couple of years since the lockdowns, but I think it’s still fresh on people’s minds.”

The Federal Aviation Administration also has a tool you can use to learn more about delays during the holiday season and what’s causing them.

You can find it HERE.

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