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Thanksgiving travel season officially begins tomorrow, and as you might expect, that means airports are about to see a huge spike in traffic. In fact, this Thanksgiving travel season will be the busiest ever.

Between tomorrow (November 22) and Monday, December 2, the TSA projects that 26.8 million passengers will pass through security checkpoints at U.S. airports. My colleague and #TravelSkills chat co-host Chris McGinnis, meanwhile, shared more details on the upcoming Thanksgiving travel season in a great post for SFGate. According to projections by the airline trade group Airlines for America (A4A), he says, “the Sunday after Thanksgiving (December 1) will be the single busiest U.S. air travel day in history, with 3.1 million passengers crowding onto planes…The busiest day after December 1 will be the day before Thanksgiving (November 27) with 2.98 million travelers, followed by Friday, November 22 at 2.96 million.”

Yes, 2.96 million expected flyers are headed to U.S. airports tomorrow. And in San Francisco, things will be especially bad. “San Francisco International Airport said this week,” writes Chris, “that it expects this Friday, November 22 to be its busiest travel day, with more than 171,000 passengers arriving and departing. Part of that surge is because Friday is the final day of the massive Dreamforce conference in downtown San Francisco when attendees will head home.”

How to survive Thanksgiving travel season

In the end, the best ways to prepare for the rush are to pack your patience and leave for the airport early. And don’t forget that if you have questions about what’s allowed in your carry-on, you can tweet them at the TSA. For even more help, see:


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