Ahead of Thanksgiving travel, airport director & frequent flyers share advice

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – The holidays bring a lot of people to the airport that aren’t used to flying. Airport officials and frequent flyers in the East have recommendations for those such people ahead of Thanksgiving weekend.

Passengers and the director of Albert J. Ellis Airport both mentioned the importance of having patience and being aware of your surroundings when traveling.

Airport Director Chris White said Thanksgiving not only kicks off holiday traveling but the Sunday after is traditionally a busy day in airports.

“Right now, there is a shortage of pilots, there’s a shortage of aircraft, there’s a shortage of seats, so travel may not be like it was in the past for Thanksgiving, but it will be very busy,” White said. “Every available seat out of this airport is already booked.”

White said passengers should give themselves ample time to get to the airport and through security. He also mentioned some other preparations that can be made to make trips as easy as possible. They include:

  • Some airports have taxis from parking lots to the terminal, so factor parking into your time getting to the airport
  • Download your boarding pass to your phone 24 hours in advance
  • If you are able to prepay for checked luggage, do so in advance
  • Sign up for airline alerts. White said they will be the first to notify you of anything changing and may rebook a flight automatically

Elke Lyszczarz is traveling with her grandson to see his father in Houston. She says accidents happening are always in the back of her mind.

“Just be calm and take your time. Make sure you have the extra time to go through everything and that if you have to check your bags, check them as quickly as possible,” Lyszczarz said.

White also recommends having keys, medicine, travel documents, and even an extra set of clothes in your carry-on in case of an unexpected delay, flight change, or weather.

“Emotions can be high when you travel,” White said. “The best thing you can do is give yourself some grace as well as others grace.”

If you would like a refresher about getting through the airport efficiently, as well as finding out specifically what you can and cannot bring on the airplane, visit the TSA website.