Flying somewhere for Thanksgiving? Packed airports, slow security, storm out East


If you're heading to the airport for Turkey Day travel, it might not go as quickly as you like. A huge influx of travelers is expected, which will crowd security lines and gates. And depending on where you're flying to, a strong winter storm could complicate things further.

Here's what to expect if you're stuck lugging luggage around an airport this week.

There will be a flood (of travelers)

Take a deep breath – it'll be busy.

More than 3.5 million people are expected to take to the skies to get to Thanksgiving dinner, the highest number to fly over Thanksgiving weekend (Wednesday-Sunday) since 2007, AAA says.

Airlines for America expects airlines to have an additional 31,000 passengers per day from Nov. 21 through Dec. 2, with the busiest travel day Sunday Nov. 30, followed by Monday Dec. 1 and Wednesday Nov. 26.

Flying out of MSP

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, which was the 16th most-traveled airport in 2013, is expecting to see more people traveling through the airport than last year because passenger traffic is up more than 4 percent from a year ago, airport spokesman Patrick Hogan told BringMeTheNews.

"During the holidays, there are far more families traveling than usual, so lines can move a bit more slowly than during non-holiday weeks," Hogan told BringMeTheNews. "Giving yourself plenty of time takes the stress out of travel and provides more opportunities to enjoy the experience from beginning to end."

Hogan advises travelers to get to the airport two hours before a flight to give enough time to check in, go through security and get to the correct gate.

What about the weather?

The weather isn't expected to halt any travel plans for people flying out of Minneapolis this weekend. But depending on where and when you're flying, there could be some problems.

Mainly, if you're heading to the Northeast, keep an eye on things.

A half-foot or more of snow is forecast over much of the mid-Atlantic into New England, which has some airlines already waiving rebooking fees to cities in those areas, USA Today reports. There will likely be some delays and cancellations from Boston and New York City down to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

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