Thanksgiving is a time for family, gratitude, and delicious meals. But it’s also a time for travel, and this year, officials at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) are bracing for their busiest Thanksgiving season in four years. According to AAA, an estimated 4.7 million Americans will be taking to the skies to celebrate the holiday, marking the highest number of air travelers since 2005.
To make your journey as stress-free as possible, MSP Airport officials are advising travelers to plan ahead and arrive early. Wednesday and Sunday are expected to be the busiest days at the airport, with an estimated 38,000 to 40,000 people passing through the doors each day. If you’re flying during these peak times, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to check-in, go through security, and make it to your gate.
To avoid the crowds, some savvy travelers opted to fly in or out of MSP on Monday afternoon. Dave Buchanan, who flew into MSP from Arizona, explained, “We thought that today would be a great day to get in (to the airport). We’re going to be on the road Thursday morning, so we get there in time to eat turkey.” Laurel Denney, who was flying from MSP to Valencia, Spain, also shared her strategy: “We did an early Thanksgiving with my family yesterday so that way we could make it back before the Thanksgiving rush.”
To assist with the increased demand, MSP Airport has introduced a new cell phone lot on Post Road, providing 100 parking spots for those picking up their loved ones. This addition aims to alleviate congestion on the roads and make the airport experience more convenient for everyone.
While air travel may be on the rise, AAA predicts that the majority of Americans, approximately 49 million, will be hitting the roads to reach their Thanksgiving destinations. It’s important to note that Wednesday afternoon, specifically between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., is expected to be the worst time for traffic. To make matters easier for drivers, gas prices are lower this Thanksgiving season compared to last year.
Before setting off on your journey, it’s essential to stay informed about any ongoing roadwork in your area. Although the Minnesota Department of Transportation assured travelers that snow plows won’t be necessary this week, some work zones may still be active, so it’s best to plan your route accordingly.
With a little preparation and smart timing, you can navigate your Thanksgiving travels with ease and avoid unnecessary congestion, ensuring a smoother journey to your cherished holiday celebrations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How many Americans are expected to travel by air for Thanksgiving this year?
A: According to AAA, an estimated 4.7 million Americans will be traveling by air for Thanksgiving, marking the highest number of air travelers since 2005.
Q: Which days are projected to be the busiest at MSP Airport?
A: Wednesday and Sunday are expected to be the busiest travel days at MSP Airport, with an estimated 38,000 to 40,000 people passing through the doors each day.
Q: What can travelers do to avoid congestion at the airport?
A: To avoid congestion at the airport, it is advisable to arrive early to allow for any potential delays and longer lines at the check-in and security processes.
Q: What new facility has MSP Airport introduced to ease parking congestion?
A: MSP Airport has recently opened a new cell phone lot on Post Road, offering 100 parking spots for those picking up their loved ones.
Q: Are gas prices expected to be higher or lower this Thanksgiving compared to last year?
A: AAA reports that gas prices this Thanksgiving season are expected to be lower than the previous year, making it more affordable for those embarking on road trips for the holiday.