LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Thanksgiving is around the corner and according to AAA, more than 55 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles away from home for the holiday.
AAA officials are anticipating more than 4.7 million will be flying, which is the highest number of air travelers since 2005.
“Even with inflationary prices all around for the cost of goods and services, it’s not deterring people from traveling,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA.
Twidale added that Thanksgiving travel numbers could be even higher than 55 million because AAA’s travel forecast only covers the five-day period from Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 26 and more people are choosing to travel earlier in the week. Officials for both American Airlines and United Airlines are predicting this will be their busiest Thanksgiving period ever. United officials added that to meet demand, they will fly more than 3,900 flights per day on average and add more than 550,000 seats.
Here in Las Vegas, Harry Reid International Airport and TSA officials said they’re ready to handle the extra demand from not only Thanksgiving travelers but people flying home after the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix.
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Airport officials want to remind travelers that Terminal 1 parking is in high demand and the Long-Term garage is often at capacity. They said drivers should pay attention to digital roadway signage for garage closure notifications and alternate parking instructions. If you want to park in long-term covered parking, airport officials are recommending parking in Terminal 3 parking.
If the Terminal 1 Economy Lot is full, drivers will be redirected to an overflow economy lot, which is located at 576 Kitty Hawk Way. They’re urging travelers to plan on an extra 30 minutes for a shuttle to the terminal. Additional parking will be available at the Remote Lot, which is located across from the Airport Rent-A-Car Center, which is located at 7140 Gilespie Street. When parking at that location, airport officials are also recommending travelers set aside 30 minutes for a shuttle to the terminal. You can find more information on parking locations and prices here.
If you need help finding your airline’s ticketing counter, which security checkpoint you should use, or if your flight is on time, you can visit Harry Reid International Airport’s website. If you’re planning on bringing food with you, you can visit the TSA website for a list of what is and isn’t allowed through TSA checkpoints and what needs to go into a checked bag.
According to AAA, they’re also anticipating 49 million Americans will hit the roads for the holiday. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada has unveiled its travel forecast for the holiday week.
According to RTC officials, drivers should be aware that peak drive times on Interstate 15, including southbound traffic to Southern California, will be Wednesday, Nov. 22, Saturday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 26.
They add that RTC buses will operate on a Sunday schedule for transit service valley-wide on Thursday Day, which is Thursday, Nov. 23 and a Saturday schedule will be in place on Family Day, which is Friday, Nov. 24.
RTC officials want to remind travelers that there are free park-and-ride facilities scattered throughout the valley. Parking spots are on a first-come, first-served basis at all park-and-ride sites. For airport travelers, RTC officials said they’re offering free parking at the Centennial Hills Transit Center or the South Strip Transit Terminal with direct access to Harry Reid International Airport’s Ground Level Zero at Terminal 1 via the Centennial EuroJournal or Route 109 Maryland Parkway.