Thanksgiving travel is expected to ramp up this week at Logan International Airport in Boston, with nearly 64,000 travelers expected during peak days.
This is around 20,000 more travelers per day than at the same time in 2021.
The TSA has issued a warning for travelers, saying they should expect long lines at Logan, especially next Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Sunday after Thanksgiving. In other words, pack your patience.
Many are expected to travel by road and air for Thanksgiving next week.
“We try to recruit as much staff as possible, especially during the busiest times of the holiday travel season,” TSA spokesman Dan Velez said. “But there will be a backup with the line because of the number of people traveling.”
Velez suggested people arrive at the airport at least two hours before departure and have travel documents ready to go through security.
Travelers are also advised to exercise caution when packing hand luggage. Velez said people transporting Thanksgiving goods that contain liquids must turn them over or check them in as cargo.
“If you’re traveling with food, keep in mind that if you can spray it, spill it, spill it, pump it, or pour it, it has to be in your checked bag,” Velez said. “These items cannot be, due to liquid rules, in your hand luggage.”
Velez also posted advice on traveling with guns.
Demand is growing and prices are skyrocketing for trips before Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“Guns can only travel in controlled backs,” he said. “[They] must be declared to the airline you are traveling with. They must be locked, unloaded and placed in a hard case so that they are completely inaccessible.”
A record 26 firearms were improperly secured at Logan this year, according to the TSA. Penalties could include loss of pre-screening privileges and fines of up to $14,000.
Another tip to speed up the security check process is to put all your loose items like watches, phones, keys or wallets in your hand luggage. It will also help avoid losing some of those belongings when you go to collect them.
Record numbers expected to hit the road
Roads and highways are also expected to be extremely busy before and after Thanksgiving. Massachusetts transportation officials and the AAA are warning that travel is expected to approach — if not exceed — pre-pandemic levels.
In a Wednesday briefing, Massachusetts Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said roads in the Bay State will be significantly busier than in recent years and possibly exceed pre-pandemic levels. .
Thanksgiving traffic congestion will actually begin Thursday, a week before the holiday, according to Gulliver. Roads are expected to be busier than usual over the weekend and traffic jams will be “very, very heavy” on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.
He noted that where most people used to travel after work on Wednesday, “we’ve seen people spread out a bit more”, which also impacts the Tuesday commute before Thanksgiving. .
But Sunday will have “by far” the worst congestion of the week, as people head home.
The Department of Transportation released this schedule showing when to expect major delays on major highways between Monday and Sunday after Thanksgiving:
This year will mark the third-busiest Thanksgiving travel season since 2000, with 98% volume compared to pre-pandemic years, according to AAA.
When it comes to the best times to go, experts say Thanksgiving morning before 11 a.m. or before 8 a.m. the day before Thanksgiving.