CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It is about to be the most wonderful -- and also the busiest -- time of the year at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department as the holiday travel season gets underway.
We have put together a guide of things you need to know ahead of the busy travel season.
Thanksgiving Airport Travel
Thanksgiving travel will officially begin for Charlotte Douglas Airport Wednesday, and they are getting ready for a record number of passengers.
The TSA said you can expect another record setting holiday travel season. Nearly 27 million passengers will fly around Thanksgiving. Each day, TSA expects to see 2.7 million people.
Charlotte Douglas officials said they expect to see more than 30,000 people begin and end their travels at CDAP on the busiest days of Thanksgiving travel. The airport usually sees between 26,000 to 27,000 passengers daily.
The airport said nearly 1.5 million people flew to and from Charlotte Douglas during last year's Thanksgiving travel season.
On a typical weekday, TSA screens around 2 million passengers.
Airlines for America issued its predictions, and they said 31.6 million passengers will fly during the 12 days surrounding Thanksgiving. This is up 3.7% from last year.
The busiest days are expected to be the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving.
Airlines are also adding more than 850 additional flights a day to meet the demand.
American Airlines said in Charlotte, they have added 5 days of flex flying during the Thanksgiving travel days. This means there will be an additional set of flights after midnight.
The dates include Friday, the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving as well as the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving.
In the days leading up to the start of the holiday travel season, the airport began tweeting out links using #ThanksgivingTravelCLT.
- Real-Time Parking
- Ground Transportation
- Cell Phone Lot
- Hourly Deck Drop-Off / Pick-Up (The First Hour is FREE)
- Airport Thanksgiving Travel Guide
Airport officials said they expect large crowds during the holiday season and recommend arriving at least two hours before your flight in preparation for wait times.
Be aware, the roadways around the terminal will be congested. To help ease traffic, the airport opened five new driving lanes so it should help people with pick up and drop off.
For now, Ubers and Lyfts are now on the lower level. The airport is considering moving them to the hourly parking deck or even an off site lot, but that won't be decided until after the holidays.
- Check Airport Parking Space Availability
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport Parking Map
- Flight Tracker
- NCDOT Holiday Travel Information
Airport officials said they plan to accommodate the increased number of flyers at Charlotte Douglas by adding more personnel to airport shuttle buses and parking operations, increasing airport staff in ticketing, and station additional traffic officers on the upper and lower levels of ticketing and baggage claim.
For more information and planning your trip to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, click here.
Thanksgiving Holiday Weather
Our team of meteorologists is tracking the latest weather forecast to make sure you and your family stay safe as you travel in, around, and out of the Queen City this Thanksgiving.
>> Download our WSOC-TV app and keep up with weather conditions wherever you go.
- Interactive Radar
- Download our weather app for Severe Weather Alerts
- Hour-by-Hour Forecast
- 7-Day Forecast
Thanksgiving Holiday Traffic
You can count on Traffic Team 9's Mark Taylor to keep you updated on area events, closures, and traffic that may have an impact on your travel time.
Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade
The Thanksgiving Day Parade begins November 28 at 9:00 a.m. on North Tryon Street at 10th Street. The parade will continue south on Tryon Street to Stonewall Street where it will disperse. Event organizers expect 40,000 attendees.
- Tuesday, Nov. 26: Tryon Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Stonewall Street including Levine Ave.; Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 10 a.m. until Thursday, Nov. 28 at 4 p.m.
- Wednesday, Nov. 27: Tryon Street between 9th and 11th streets including 10th and Phifer St.; Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 9 a.m. until Thursday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m.
- Thursday, Nov. 28: Tryon Street between Morehead and 11th streets, including side streets; Thursday, Nov. 28 at 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.
For more information, click here.
Most work to be halted along major NC roads for holiday
North Carolina’s Department of Transportation is suspending most construction along major highways to ease congestion during the busy Thanksgiving week.
DOT said in a news release that most work along interstates, U.S. routes and key state routes will be shut down from Tuesday through the evening of Dec. 2. Exceptions include areas where it’s unsafe to open all lanes, such as where a bridge is being replaced.
The busiest travel period will be Wednesday afternoon and evening. Road congestion also is expected Sunday, when many people will head home.
Meanwhile, the annual Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket campaign will take place Monday through Sunday. Law enforcement officers will be watching for speeding, drunken driving and seat belt violations in all 100 counties.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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