ST. LOUIS – Tuesday is the third busiest travel day at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Airports across the US are preparing for a record Thanksgiving holiday travel rush. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expects nearly 27 million travelers to go through US airport checkpoints over an 11-day period beginning Friday, November 22 and wrapping up Monday, December 2.
St. Louis Airport is preparing for a three percent increase in departing passengers over those 11 days. During that time, security checkpoints could screen more than 208,000 passengers, an increase of more than 6,000 passengers over last year.
The airport expects to have more than 20,000 departing passengers going through airport checkpoints during that 11-day period. November 27, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, may narrowly eclipse the Sunday after the holiday, December 1, for the peak travel day of 24,000 passengers versus 23,400 passengers. Tuesday, November 26 will likely be the third busiest day with 21,483 passengers expected to clear airport checkpoints. On the kickoff day, Friday, November 22, more than 20,500 passengers are expected to start their travels from St. Louis.
According to flightaware.com, over 530 flights nationwide were canceled on Tuesday and more than 200 have been delayed.
The TSA offers these five travel tips:
- Pack smart. Prepare for security when packing and ensure that there are no prohibited items in baggage. As always, passengers can bring pies, cakes, and other baked goods through the checkpoints; however, liquids such as eggnog and maple syrup, and gels such as preserves and jellies, should go into checked bags. Liquids in carry-on must follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule.
- Get your TSA Pre✓® membership. Individuals who do not have TSA Pre✓® should enroll now to get TSA Pre✓® benefits, available at more than 200 U.S. airports, in time for their holiday travel. Travelers enrolled in a trusted traveler program, like TSA Pre✓®, do not need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets.
- Ask for passenger support. Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and/or medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 855-787-2227 at least 72 hours prior to flying with any questions about screening policies, procedures and to find out what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares also arranges assistance at the checkpoint.
- Ensure you have proper ID. Before heading to the airport, travelers should make sure they have an acceptable ID. Identity verification is an important step in the security screening process. Travelers are also reminded that REAL ID enforcement is less than 1 year away. Beginning October 1, 2020, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States. Review the list of acceptable identification.
- Have questions? Ask TSA. Travelers can get assistance in real-time by submitting their questions and comments to @AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Travelers can also reach the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673. Staff is available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends/holidays; and an automated service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
And as travelers hit the road and skies two major storms are already impacting flights and roads. Storm alerts have been issued from the West Coast to New York covering 26 states, so plan ahead.