Primary Menu

Fly Ty

Morning Producer 6:00AM-10:00AM

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is expecting to see a big increase in travelers in the days before and after Thanksgiving, in what airport experts say could be a record-breaking holiday travel year.

TSA expects about 32,500 people to begin and end their travel in the Charlotte airport, TSA is saying they  encourage everyone to come prepared — pack their patience.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is expecting to see a big increase in travelers in the days before and after Thanksgiving, in what airport experts say could be a record-breaking holiday travel year.

TSA expects about 32,500 people to begin and end their travel in the Charlotte airport on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday and Monday after, NC TSA federal security Director Kevin Frederick said.

That’s up from the average 26,000 to 27,000 daily originating passengers, and doesn’t include the more than 100,000 daily connecting passengers, according to the airport.

CLT’s biggest airline, AA expects to operate more than 700 daily departures from the Charlotte airport during the Thanksgiving travel period between Thursday Nov. 22 and Tuesday Dec. 3, according to airline spokewoman Crystal Byrd.

Thanksgiving is the airport’s busiest travel time, Aviation Director Brent Cagle said this month.

“It will be a very busy time. We encourage everyone to come prepared — pack their patience,” he said. “And, you know, hang out and enjoy some of the concessions that we have.”

‘A long time coming’

The airport just celebrated the completion of its latest construction project with the food court area between Concourses D and E on Nov. 15.

The $39-million addition is the airport’s third “Destination CLT” project to be finished, following the airport’s $200-million Concourse A expansion and50 million dollar roadway project including guests, something airport Chief Operating Officer Jack Christine hopes will help alleviate traffic concerns for the holiday.

“We’re very excited to have that road finally complete,” Christine said. “It has been a long time coming.”

The roadway project also created a new zone on the outer curb of the lower deck for Uber and Lyft pick-ups. Christine suggested travelers arriving in Charlotte use ride-share companies to avoid traffic, or tell friends and family to wait in the free cell phone lot, or the hourly parking lot, where the first hour of parking is free.

Passengers should also prepare to go through TSA before arriving at the airport, Frederick said. He said TSA expects to see more than 26.8 million passengers nationwide during Thanksgiving travel.

Frederick warned passengers to always know where their firearms are and to leave the guns at home. TSA agents have found 67 firearms at Charlotte checkpoints this year as of Wednesday, and 75 last year, he said.

“I’m here to tell you, if you own a firearm, you should know where that firearm is at all times,” Frederick said.