Nov 23, 2021 - News

MSP Airport predicts big bump in Thanksgiving travel

Passengers screened at MSP security checkpoints, weekend before Thanksgiving
Data: Metropolitan Airports Commission; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Airport officials in the Twin Cities are already seeing an increase in Thanksgiving travelers this year.

Driving the news: Nearly 80,000 travelers were screened at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport checkpoints between Friday and Sunday, a 110% increase from the same weekend last year.

The big picture: Thanksgiving travel is up nationwide as people flock to family gatherings again.

  • The Transportation Security Administration screened roughly 2.24 million passengers Friday — the highest single-day volume since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

What to expect: More tickets booked means more travelers to process.

  • The average security wait time at MSP over the weekend was 10 minutes, but went as high as 30 minutes, an airport spokesperson told Axios.

Between the lines: While many of us are understandably excited to gather with loved ones after the pandemic canceled or curtailed celebrations last year, some public health officials worry that travel and large get-togethers could lead to even more cases of COVID-19.

The bottom line: If you're traveling, there are steps you can take to ensure smooth and safe trip.

  • Getting tested before you go — and when you return — can help limit the spread.
  • In addition to free PCR options, at-home rapid tests are available at most local pharmacies.


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