Nov 22, 2021 - News

DFW braces for holiday travel surge

A crowd of masked people move through an airport terminal

Photo: Angus Mordant for Bloomberg via Getty Images

Officials at DFW Airport expect more than 2.3 million passengers to pass through during the Thanksgiving travel holiday.

  • That's a 70% increase over the number of flyers during the same time last year, and 95% of the volume the airport experienced in 2019.

Why it matters: Both Fort Worth-based American Airlines and Dallas-based Southwest Airlines experienced weekends of mass cancellations this fall, when the number of travelers was a fraction of what they'll be this week.

  • The weather might not be great.

Context: AAA predicts more than 53.4 million Americans will travel this week, the highest single-year increase since 2005.

  • The TSA expects to screen approximately 20 million people nationwide between Nov. 19 and Nov. 29.

Between the lines: American is in the middle of ongoing contract negotiations with the pilots union and Southwest has had issues with employees not wanting to get vaccinated.

Tips for traveling:

  • Plan ahead and get to the airport early.
  • Use the DFW Airport app or check security wait times online.
  • Bring a book and download some podcasts.
  • Charge all of your electronics.
  • Know what you can pack in which bag before you leave home.

What they're saying: “Gravy, cranberry sauce, wine, jam, and preserves should all go into a checked bag, because they are not solids,” the TSA said in a statement. “If you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it or pour it, then it's not a solid and should be packed in a checked bag.”

Of note: USA Today has tips for roadtrippers, including the worst times to drive.

Our thought bubble: Whether you're going by plane, train or automobile, pack some patience.

Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to state that AAA's predicted travel increase reflects the highest single-year increase since 2005.


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