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Arrive early, expect long lines if you're flying out of the Austin airport this Thanksgiving

Travelers should arrive three hours early for all flights as officials say the airport will be "significantly busier" this year.

AUSTIN, Texas — If you're flying out of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) this Thanksgiving holiday, you may want to be extra early and be prepared for long lines. 

Airport officials are warning that airport terminals are expected to be "significantly busier" from Nov. 19 to Nov. 29 due to holiday travel plans being postponed in 2020 and increased vaccination rates.

Airport officials also ask that travelers allow plenty of time for parking, returning rental cars, luggage check, security and boarding, especially for those traveling before 9 a.m.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) suggests travelers arrive at least three hours early for all flights, including those with TSA PreCheck and CLEAR. Security checkpoints open at 3:30 a.m. with TSA PreCheck and CLEAR screening available at Checkpoints 1 and 2.

On Friday, Nov. 19, TSA at AUS screened 30,909 passengers. On Saturday, Nov. 20, there were 26,673 passengers, while the projection for Sunday, Nov. 21, is 30,592 passengers. The projection for Monday, Nov. 22, is 28,821 passengers.

AUS recently recorded is busiest travel day ever in October, following the Formula 1 event held in Austin when more than 35,000 passengers passed through security on the Monday after the event.

Morning travelers being dropped off can use both the upper and lower curbsides to help ease traffic. Meanwhile, travelers parking onsite are asked to plan ahead as parking is expected to quickly fill up. Travelers should visit the airport's parking website to reserve a space and check real-time parking availability before arriving. If reservations are sold out, drive-up options may be available, according to officials.

Travelers in need of wheelchair assistance should contact their airlines directly prior to arriving at the airport to arrange for wheelchair service at the terminal.

AUS officials also reiterated that face masks are still required for individual flyers, per the TSA, through Jan. 18, 2022.


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